Recommendation 1840 (2008)1

State of democracy in Europe

Measures to improve the democratic participation of migrants


1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1618 (2008) on the same subject.

2. The Council of Europe has an important role in promoting the democratic participation of migrants and has already contributed to this process, inter alia, through the adoption of the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers (ETS No. 93), the European Convention on Nationality (ETS No. 166) and the Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level (ETS No. 144).

3. The level of democratic participation of migrant women and men in Europe remains low, however, and further steps are needed to improve the situation, including integration measures which facilitate the participation of migrants in democratic life and society.

4. Therefore, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

4.1. instruct the European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) and its Committee of Experts on Democratic Participation and Public Ethics at Local and Regional Level (LR-DP) to analyse the implementation, in all member states of the Council of Europe, of the standards laid out in the Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level and examine the obstacles to ratification of this instrument;

4.2. instruct the European Committee on Migration (CDMG) to examine how integration programmes and equal treatment and opportunity programmes in member states should be adapted in order to promote the democratic participation of migrants;

4.3. instruct the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to examine the restrictions on the political and other fundamental rights of migrants (in particular the right to join political parties or form political associations) with a view to furthering the democratic participation of migrant women and men;

4.4. instruct the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) to examine the implementation, in all member states, of the standards under the European Convention on Nationality and its state of ratifications;

4.5. instruct the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) to evaluate the democratic participation of migrant women and men of all ethnic origins when monitoring the implementation of Recommendation Rec(2003)3 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making;

4.6. invite the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) to examine the constitutional impediments to granting migrants the right to vote, primarily at the local and regional levels, and to provide assistance with constitutional reform to these states as necessary;

4.7. invite the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) to monitor continuing discrimination, racism and intolerance as a hindrance to the democratic participation of migrants, and respect its advice.


1. Assembly debate on 25 June 2008 (23rd Sitting) (see Doc. 11625, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, rapporteur: Mr Greenway). Text adopted by the Assembly on 25 June 2008 (24th Sitting).