Doc. 10699

4 October 2005

The OECD and the world economy

Contribution

Committee on migration, refugees and population

Rapporteur: Mr Márton Braun, Hungary, Group of the European People’s Party

I       Conclusions of the Committee

The Committee on migration, refugees and population congratulates the Rapporteur, Mr Konstantinos Vrettos, for his report and supports the draft resolution on the OECD and the world economy presented by the Committee on Economic Affairs and Development.

II       Proposed amendment to the draft resolution

The Committee wished to add the following amendment:

In paragraph 3 of the draft resolution, replace the wording “that the process of increasingly open and rules-based trade should continue” with the following:

“to develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory and to set aside development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction.”

III        Explanatory memorandum by Mr Márton Braun

While having a very liberal approach, the report of the Committee on economic affairs and development provides a very good account of global economic trends and it also offers political encouragement with regard to OECD’s internal reform and perspectives for its enlargement beyond the “club” of developed countries.

The Committee on migration, refugees and population would naturally strongly support this “enlargement” trend with a view to progressively include the world’s many emerging economies in the OECD. Issues of international migration, and labour migration in particular, are today so closely linked to the context of increasing globalisation of national economies. Though at times seen as a threat, economic migration is more and more frequently seen as an opportunity to remain competitive by filling in gaps in national labour markets.

The OECD annual publication “trends in international migration” provides a valuable source of data and an overview of national migration policies. It analyses the magnitude, nature and direction of migratory flows, to and from east and central Europe, to and from east and south-east Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Given that integration policies are today high on the political agenda in most developed “host” countries, the OECD analysis rightly focuses on labour-related migration flows and the difficulties faced by specific groups of immigrants to integrate in the labour markets.

As part of country surveys, OECD examines the effects of migration on employment, wages, public finances, output and productivity and provides valuable guidelines for proactive migration policies, particularly for the new OECD members in Central Europe.

Given the application of stricter and more selective immigration policies in Western Europe, Central and Eastern European countries are today confronted with an increasingly complex situation with regard to migration, having to manage youth and brain drain as well as pressures of illegal immigration from outside Europe. With the exception of the Czech Republic, where selective immigration policy is being introduced to respond to economic needs, other countries in the region are still struggling to cope with the new and complex situation and often lack knowledge and resource for effective migration management.

Linking migration to economy and the labour market, and sharing experience and best practices of proactive migration management within the Council of Europe, the OECD and other international organisations is therefore crucial.

In this context, the Rapporteur would like to highlight the need to improve the working and social conditions of migrant workers who are too often exposed to lower wages, longer working hours, poor housing, segregation and discrimination. The Committee on migration, refugees and population welcomes the initiative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to draft and adopt a Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration in the course of 2006, which will be based on international labour standards and other instruments relevant to migrant workers, including the European Social Charter of the Council of Europe.

In the light of this week’s debate on co-development policies (rapporteur : Mr Rudy Salles, France, ALDE), the Committee insists on the need to firmly pursue the United Nations Millennium Goals as mentioned in paragraph 3 of the draft resolution. It means developing further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory as well as providing development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction. Migrants can very effectively contribute to development through investment and remittances and also through their skills, entrepreneurial activities and support for democratisation and human rights promotion.

The Committee on migration, refugees and population therefore fully supports the OECD outreach strategy and the outcomes of the OECD Forum “Fuelling the future – security, stability, and development” (May 2005, Paris).

Finally, the rapporteur wishes to thank Mr Jean-Pierre Garson, head of the Non-member Economies and International Migration Division within the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs for his valuable contribution to the Committee’s ongoing work and hopes that positive and constructive working relations with OECD will continue in future.

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Reporting committee: Committee on Economic Affairs and Development

Committee for contribution: Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population

Reference to committee: Doc. 10645, Standing Mandate

Contribution approved by the Committee on 3 October 2005

Secretaries to the committee: Mr Lervik, Mr Neville and Ms Karanjac