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Recommendation 1148 (1991)

Europe of 1992 and migration policies

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 23 April 1991 (3rd Sitting) (see Doc. 6412, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography, Rapporteur: Mr Parisi). Text adopted by the Assembly on 23 April 1991 (3rd Sitting).

1. European states are again facing heavy migration flows.
2. These new international migration flows are essentially due to underdevelopment and uncontrolled population growth in the countries of origin and to the utterly intolerable living conditions, including in some cases non-respect for human rights, prevailing in these countries.
3. The changes in Central and Eastern Europe also contribute to increasing these migration flows.
4. Migrants make an important contribution to the economic growth of host countries.
5. In some European countries, hostility towards migrants is a cause for serious concern.
6. Completion of the internal market in the European Community countries in 1993 will result in full freedom of movement for goods, persons, capital and services. This will involve dismantling of the internal frontiers between Community member states, but tighter controls at external borders.
7. However, the Assembly considers that the issue of migration concerns all the member states of the Council of Europe.
8. The Assembly recognises that Community countries have the right to harmonise their migration policies for the purpose of securing a co-ordinated policy on visas, entry at external borders and free movement for non-Community migrants.
9. However, the Assembly is anxious to point out that restrictions on access to Community territory may lead to the concentration of large numbers of migrants in Council of Europe member states which are not members of the European Community.
10. It is therefore necessary that European states within and outside the European Community should work together within the Council of Europe to prepare for the impact on international migration of completion of the internal market in 1993.
11. The Assembly considers that the problems of asylum­seekers and refugees, which are very different from those of migrants, deserve special attention.
12. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
12.1. study the question of international migration towards Europe, in consultation with the Commission of the European Communities;
12.2. take action to revive North‑South and East-West co­operation, taking due account of the changes in Central and Eastern Europe, for the purpose of promoting employment and economic and social development, as well as the protection of human rights, in the migrants' countries of origin;
12.3. make full use of the Council of Europe's work on improving community relations;
12.4. invite the Council of Europe's member states, and particularly the immigration countries among them, to ensure that their international commitments concerning the status of migrant workers are fully respected;
12.5. instruct the ad hoc Committee of Experts on Legal Aspects of Territorial Asylum, Refugees and Stateless Persons (CAHAR) to continue its work for the purpose of securing a harmonised European policy on the right of asylum;
12.6. in the absence of a concerted development policy at European level, organise, as soon as possible, an international conference on demographic problems in the Mediterranean basin and related population movements.