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Migration Solutions Within Europe

  • September 13th, 2008
  • Posted by Isabel Fitzgerald

council-of-europe.jpgImmigration Ministers from the Council of Europe have declared it “critical” for receiving countries to take responsibility, to assure the participation of migrant people in society.

The representatives of the forty-seven member body endorsed a strategic approach similar to the joint migration plan being confirmed and put into effect by the EU.

Meeting at Kiev in Ukraine, they called for strengthened communication between European governments at all levels, to jointly find solutions for problems and share benefits of migration.
Agreed principles were:

  • Linking economic migration to development, in both the destination country and country of origin.
  • Developing a practical system of skills recognition and validation of qualifications, for instance of would-be employees in European countries.
  • At the same time examining aspects of emigration, including “brain drain” of professional and skilled workers to Europe.

The President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Yavuz Mildon, said policies to improve interaction between migrants and receiving societies were among the most important measures that could be taken at local level.

That should include participation of migrants in public and political affairs — important for true democracy.

“Receiving societies have a moral obligation not to profit from and increase the misery of poor countries by plundering their intellectual capital and encouraging the ‘brain drain'”, he said.

A key solution would be to invest in promising sectors of developing country economies and their local communities.

Mr Mildon said new trends included increasing migration flow from Eastern to Western Europe, and also within Eastern Europe, which together with growing population overall were having economic impacts Europe-wide.

He said the ideas for joint action among the European states were in line with a Council of Europe convention signed in 1992, but so far only formally ratified by eight of member countries.

There were moves to investigate the “poor reaction to this instrument”, to determine what was stopping other governments from fully getting behind it.

eu-map-reduced.jpgThe European Union has embarked on the implementation of a two-part program on immigration, to enforce tighter controls against illegal entry into its territory, and to develop legal migration.

It has endorsed projects, for assisting economic development in originating countries, especially in Africa; for coordinating the recruitment of personnel needed by European industry, especially as European populations continue to age; and for home countries and the EU to jointly manage migration and temporary migration to Europe. (See EUAustralia, Immigration archive, incl. 17.3.07, 21.1.08).
The concentration on economic benefits of migration accords with the findings of studies into such benefits worldwide, e.g. the 2008 impact model for Australia.

Reference:

Council of Europe, Eighth Council of Europe Conference of Ministers Responsible for Migration Affairs, Kyiv, 4-5.9.08. https://wcd.coe.int/, (13.9.08).

Immigration Department – Australia, Migrants Fiscal Impact Model: 2008 update. http://www.immi.gov.au, (14.9.08).

Picture:

Territory of the member countries of the Council of Europe (47 states), www.coe.int, (14.9.08); territory of the European Union (27 member countries).

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