CM/Cong(2010)Rec262 final 9 February 2010
“Equality and diversity in local authority employment and service provision”– Recommendation 262 (2009) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
(Reply adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 3 February 2010 at the 1076th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
1. The Committee of Ministers has taken note of Recommendation 262 (2009) on “Equality and diversity in local authority employment and service provision” and welcomes the attention of the Congress to issues in this field. The recommendation has been brought to the attention of member states’ governments and to the relevant intergovernmental committees or bodies.1
2. The Committee of Ministers shares the view of the Congress regarding the importance of pursuing the issue of integration of migrants in the labour market. It considers that local authorities play an important role in ensuring equal opportunities with regard to access to employment and combating discrimination against migrants. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is particularly well placed to address these matters as well as to promote integration at the local level.
3. The issue of access of migrants to employment, including in the public sector has consistently been addressed by the Council of Europe. It would in particular draw attention to two recommendations. The first is Recommendation Rec(2004)2 on access of non-nationals to employment in the public sector, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 24 March 2004. This text recommends initiatives to promote diversity in public services as well as to eliminate discrimination in the areas of recruitment (inappropriate requirements on language skills, etc), promotion, employment conditions and salaries. It invites states to examine its nationality requirements for various posts and, when possible, to make more jobs open to migrants.
4. The second is Recommendation CM/Rec(2008)10 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on improving access of migrants and persons of immigrant background to employment which offers practical advice on how to combat inequality and discrimination and assist migrants in overcoming existing barriers in access to employment opportunities. This recommendation prioritises actions taken at the local level and stressed the important role to be played by the local authorities in this issue.
5. Furthermore, the Committee of Ministers would inform the Congress that a draft recommendation to member states is currently under preparation on improving national systems and procedures for identifying and validating migrants’ skills and experience, including those of employers and vocational training bodies. The draft recommendation should, in particular, concern skills acquired without formal qualification and include detailed guidelines on the practical application of its principles. This work will also culminate in preliminary outline proposals for a training manual for services providers responsible for validating migrants’ skills and experience.
6. The Committee of Ministers considers that the above-mentioned recommendations provide a substantive contribution to promoting equality and diversity in employment, including in the context of local authority employment and service provision. It would encourage member states to bear them in mind, and where appropriate Recommendation 262 (2009) of the Congress, when establishing or reviewing policies in this area. It would also draw particular attention to the relevance of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)’s General Policy Recommendation No. 7 on national legislation to combat racism and racial discrimination and to ECRI’s country monitoring reports which regularly address discrimination in the employment sector. ECRI has also started to work on a future General Policy Recommendation on combating racism and racial discrimination in employment. Finally, the Committee of Ministers would invite member states to consider ratifying Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for a general prohibition on discrimination.
1 CDLR, CDMG, CDED and ECRI.