Doc. 8293
4 January 1999

Transit migration in central and eastern Europe

Motion for a recommendation

presented by Mr Iwinski and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only

the members who have signed it

1.       Following the democratic changes in central and eastern Europe at the beginning of the present decade and the resulting liberalisation of migration policies, a problem of so-called transit migration has emerged in the region. The number of migrants in the countries of central Europe alone who are awaiting onward travel to western Europe is estimated at between 150 000 and 200 000. These figures are even higher for Russia and Ukraine.

2.        Bilateral readmission agreements signed between all countries of the region on the one hand and western European countries on the other, result in increasing numbers of readmitted migrants. Thus central and east European countries have become countries of destination by default.

3.        One of the characteristics of transit migration in the region is illegality and its increasing dependence on organised criminal networks.

4.        This situation results in suffering for many migrants, instability in the region and problems of a political, economic and social nature for the countries concerned.

5.        Therefore the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

—       examine the issue of transit migration taking into account the impact of European Union policies;

—        draw up a European convention on the harmonisation of asylum policies in Europe which, inter alia, would contribute to achieving more balanced burden-sharing across Europe;

—       examine the treatment received by migrants, and in particular asylum-seekers, in the countries of central and eastern Europe with a view to adapting their migration policies to the new challenges;

—       consider measures to be taken in the framework of the Council of Europe in order to combat the illegal smuggling of individuals;

—       encourage pan-European cooperation in dealing with this problem.

Signed : 1

Iwinski, Poland, SOC

Aguiar, Portugal, EPP/CD

Akselsen, Norway, SOC

Billing, Sweden, EDG

Busic, Croatia, EPP/CD

Christodoulides, Cyprus, UEL

Dinšer, Turkey, SOC

Filimonov, Russia, UEL

Guirado, Spain, SOC

Hancock, United Kingdom, SOC

Judd, United Kingdom, SOC

Karlsson, Austria, SOC

Mutman, Turkey, SOC

Paslaru, Romania, SOC

Ponsonby, United Kingdom, SOC

1        SOC: Socialist Group

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

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group