CM/AS(2007)Rec1757 prov .. 19 January 20071
988 Meeting, 21 February 2007
6 Social cohesion
6.5 Migration, refugees and population in the context of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of member states of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005)
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1757 (2006)
Item to be prepared by the Rapporteur Group for Social and Health Questions (GR-SOC) at its meeting on 1 February 2007
1. The Committee of Ministers has taken note with interest of Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1757 (2006) Migration, refugees and population in the context of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of member states of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005) as well as Resolution 1511 on the same topic, which provides insight as to the Assembly’s future intentions regarding cooperation with external partners. It has transmitted the recommendation to the European Committee on Migration (CDMG), to the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS), to the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and to the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) for information.
2. The Committee of Ministers refers to its reply to Recommendation 1755 (2006) on human rights of irregular migrants, and especially to the appended opinions by the CDMG, CDCS, CDDH Bureau and the Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter. It also refers to its reply to Recommendation 1749 (2006) on demographic challenges for social cohesion. All these texts give a comprehensive overview, both of the Council of Europe’s current policies in the areas concerned and of activities in the different sectors of the Organisation carried out to implement these policies.
3. As the Assembly rightly points out, the Council of Europe has an important role to play in tackling issues relevant to migration, refugees and population in the light of the Warsaw Declaration and Action Plan. The Committee of Ministers also agrees with the Assembly’s view in paragraph 3 of Resolution 1511, that activities should be refocused in order to ensure adequate follow-up to the Action Plan, and has already taken a considerable number of policy decisions and action in this respect.
4. Migration management and integration of migrants and their families remain a priority in the 2007 Programme of activities. In particular, activities aimed at ensuring the integration of migrants and promoting inter-cultural dialogue will be undertaken within the framework of the project “Integration of migrants: Policy and Practice”. The CDMG is working on two sets of guidelines on the integration of migrant children and access of migrants to employment and self-employment opportunities are currently being prepared, and will be completed in 2007. The Committee of Ministers also gives its support to other aspects relating to migrants, such as human rights issues and intercultural dialogue, through transversal or mainstream activities. In this context, the work on a White Paper on intercultural dialogue is also proceeding, and a consultation document has been distributed at the beginning of this year (CM/Inf(2007)2).
5. The CDMG is currently preparing research on different specific policies relating to irregular migrants in five member States which will be examined by the committee in 2007, which could lead to proposals on improved co-operation between countries of origin and destination. The committee is also currently preparing guidelines on policy and practice to promote “life projects” for unaccompanied minors and to support migrant associations in the development of the migrants’ countries of origin.
6. Finally, the Committee of Ministers welcomes the active participation of the Chairmanship in the annual Social Forum organised by the Directorate of Social Cohesion on 9-10 November 2006. The theme of this conference was “Achieving Social Cohesion in a Multicultural Europe”, and an innovation was to associate the Directorate General of Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport in order to allow discussions and exchanges to address issues of integration of migrants from a transversal standpoint, through the promotion of intercultural dialogue.
Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.