The Stockholm Programme – the new five-year programme for Justice and Home Affairs adopted by European Union leaders in December 2009, constitutes the blue-print of action within the European Union in matters relating to migration and asylum for the period 2010-2014.
It defines the framework of European Union policies in these areas, promotes concerted efforts against human trafficking; upholds the establishment of a common asylum system by 2012 and that of building of greater solidarity between member states and third countries.
Although committing only the 27 member states of the European Union, the Stockholm Programme is bound to have a ripple effect on all 47 member states of the Council of Europe. It is therefore essential that the Parliamentary Assembly should take stock of possible implications of European Union actions on the wider Europe.
The Council of Europe has a contribution to make to the implementation of the Stockholm Programme, but it also needs to examine gaps which exist in the Stockholm Programme, particularly where these gaps concern rights issues affecting migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.
The human rights standards and approach of the Council of Europe need to be better reflected in European Union policy and practice, and for the Council of Europe to be effective it has to ensure that its work has an impact at the level of the European Union.
The aim of this motion for a resolution is to highlight the priorities the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly should take in the light of the Stockholm Programme.