Doc. 10597

20 June 2005

Agriculture and illegal employment in Europe

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr Dupraz and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

The Assembly notes that fruit and vegetable production in Europe is one of the least regulated areas of agricultural policy. In the long run this may well harm European agricultural production and encourage the use of illegal labour in agriculture.

European agriculture is tending to become increasingly dependent on seasonal and unauthorised labour (whether of immigrant or national origin). The Mediterranean countries admittedly offer the most instructive examples of agriculture involving a substantial proportion of unauthorised labour, but other European countries are also affected, including Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The enlargement of the European Union to the east has increased the scale of illegal agricultural work as a result of the free movement of persons inside an area offering both opportunities for illegal work and labour interested in such work. Furthermore, fruit and vegetable production remains one of the least regulated and subsidised sectors of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The geographical area of the Council of Europe covers a range of very different situations, with 25 member states belonging to the European Union and subject to the Common Agricultural Policy, plus EU candidate states and states which are not EU members. That is why the Assembly wishes to discuss the issue on a continental scale, especially the consequences of current practices for European agriculture.

In order to ensure that all Council of Europe member states are covered by a consistent and effective legislative framework on employment in agriculture, the Assembly wishes to submit proposals designed to reduce discrepancies between European countries’ laws and between the different categories of worker and agricultural contract and harmonise the organisation and regulation of agriculture in all the member states, with the ultimate aim of achieving balanced development of the European countryside.

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed 1:

DUPRAZ, John, Switzerland, LDR

ANTTILA, Sirkka-Liisa, Finland, LDR

COŞKUNOĞLU, Osman, Turkey, SOC

de MELO, Maria Manuela, Portugal, SOC


GUBERT, Renzo, Italy, EPP/CD

HUSS, Jean, Luxembourg, SOC

ILAŞCU, Ilie, Romania, NR

LINDINGER, Ewald, Austria, SOC

LOBKOWICZ, Jaroslav, Czech Republic, EPP/CD

MAISSEN, Theo, Switzerland, EPP/CD

MEALE, Alan, United Kingdom, SOC


PUCHE, Gabino, Spain, EPP/CD

SCHMIED, Walter, Switzerland, LDR

TXUEKA, Iñaki, Spain, LDR

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group