Parliamentary Assembly

Rights of elderly migrants
Recommendation 1619 (2003)

Doc. 10140
16 April 2004

Reply from the Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 881st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (14 April 2004)

1. The Committee of Ministers welcomes the Parliamentary Assembly’s concern for the need for a coherent policy for elderly migrants, which may be seen as part of the broader issue of the rights of the elderly in the context of the gradual ageing of European populations. Several of the Assembly’s recent recommendations reflect this concern, as do the replies given by the Committee of Ministers to them, for example Recommendation 1504 (2001) on non-expulsion of long-term migrants and Recommendation 1591 (2003) on the challenges of social policy in Europe’s ageing societies.

2. In its reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1591 (2003), adopted on 24 September 2003, the Committee of Ministers referred to the extensive work of the European Population Committee (CAHP) on questions linked to ageing. The CAHP is now engaged in the second stage of a two-year research programme, which after a first stage addressing the theme of active ageing, will address the question of elderly migrants. The CAHP is also planning to organise a conference on demographic trends and social cohesion in early 2005, jointly organised with the Parliamentary Assembly, which will provide an excellent opportunity for an exchange between demographic experts and policy makers from all member states. The conference will include themes related to the challenges concerning ageing populations, migration, family formation and vulnerable groups.

3. Furthermore, as part of the follow-up to the 2002 Helsinki Conference "Migrants in our societies: Policy choices for the 21st Century" and the strong commitment by the ministers responsible for migration affairs, the European Committee on Migration (CDMG) is currently working on a long-term perspective of migration and integration taking into account demographic trends, and in particular the consequences for migration derived from ageing European populations. In that process, the special situation of elderly migrants will be taken into account.

4. Finally, the Committee of Ministers joins the Assembly in calling on member states to ratify the European Convention on Social Security as well as the revised Social Charter (Article 19 on the right of migrant workers and their families to protection and assistance and Article 23 on the right of elderly persons to social protection) and the European Code of Social Security.