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Engaging European diasporas: the need for governmental and intergovernmental responses

Recommendation 1890 (2009)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 20 November 2009 (see Doc. 12076, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, rapporteur: Mrs Bilozir).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1696 (2009) on engaging European diasporas: the need for governmental and intergovernmental responses.
2. The Assembly welcomes the work undertaken in recent years by the Committee of Ministers, and in particular the European Committee on Migration, on issues concerning migration and development and co-development and migrants working for development in their countries of origin.
3. It recalls in this context its own contributions on the role and rights of diasporas in European societies: Recommendations 1410 (1999) and 1650 (2004) on the links between Europeans living abroad and their countries of origin, Resolution 1462 (2005) and Recommendation 1718 (2005) on co-development policy as a positive measure to regulate migratory flows, Recommendation 1500 (2001) on the participation of immigrant and foreign residents in political life in Council of Europe member states, and Resolution 1618 (2008) and Recommendation 1840 (2008) on the state of democracy in Europe: measures to improve the democratic participation of migrants.
4. The Assembly is convinced that the Council of Europe can make an appreciable contribution to the current policy debate on managing mobility, multiple identities and diversity of societies in Europe. In particular it can play a significant role in assisting member states in integrating international migration into national development policy frameworks and in increasing interstate co-operation on migration management.
5. In the light of the above, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
5.1 concentrate its actions on the harmonisation and subsequent liberalisation of legal provisions in its member states’ legislation concerning migrant workers, in line with the general principles of protection of human rights. To this end, it invites member states to speed up the ratification of the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers (ETS No. 93), the European Convention on Nationality (ETS No. 166) and the Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level (ETS No. 144);
5.2 instruct the European Committee on Migration to:
5.2.1 define the status, rights and obligations of diasporas in Europe, both in their countries of origin and in host countries;
5.2.2 elaborate policy guidelines to encourage greater engagement of European diasporas in development projects in countries of origin;
5.2.3 carry out a study on the experience of member states in setting up government offices for diasporas and the experience of granting voting rights to diasporas and access to other political participation mechanisms;
5.2.4 help build national capacities in terms of knowledge and research, as well as human and administrative competences;
5.2.5 assist member states in developing partnerships between diasporas and between countries of origin and host countries to enable greater involvement of diasporas in development projects;
5.3 design and introduce a pan-European harmonised system of collecting statistics on the nationals of Council of Europe member states living in other member states
5.4 give further consideration to the establishment, under the auspices of the Council of Europe, of a council of Europeans abroad, a body representing European diasporas at the pan-European level, which could organise a forum for Europeans abroad at regular intervals.