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Educational and cultural networks of communities living abroad

Doc. 14069: collection of written amendments | Doc. 14069 | 22/06/2016 | Final version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly considers that communities living abroad ought to be seen as vital bridges between Europe’s cultures and as an asset for the countries of residence and of origin. However, the integration of diaspora communities and migrants represents a major challenge for European societies today.
2Problems of marginalisation and exclusion are increasing across Europe. Weak identification both with the country of residence and of origin can create a sense of alienation, particularly among second and third generations of young people in quest of identity and belonging. Many feel they are not perceived as equal citizens and can fall prey to fundamentalism, extremism and racism. Such anxieties can further deepen the divide between communities along linguistic, cultural or religious lines.
3The Assembly believes that the role of educational and cultural networks of communities living abroad is crucial to building cohesive societies by strengthening pluralism and democracy in European societies. These networks play a key role in providing support, solidarity and mutual assistance; they provide a link to the culture of origin and an openness to multiple cultural affiliations; they nurture multilingualism; they provide cultural and educational support to children and youth of the second and third generation. Furthermore, they can play an important role as mediators between diaspora communities and public authorities.
4The Assembly nevertheless considers that their role is not sufficiently understood, recognised and mobilised, particularly in the context of developing national and local strategies that aim to improve social cohesion and the spirit of “living together”. Moreover, there is very little research at national and European level to assess the cultural and social impact of diaspora communities on local societies.
5The Assembly therefore recommends that the governments and parliaments of the member and observer States of the Council of Europe, as well as the States whose parliaments enjoy observer or partner for democracy status with the Assembly:
5.1when concerned as countries of residence:
5.1.1involve diaspora associations in the framing and implementation of policies concerning different aspects of the integration process, including educational, cultural and social integration;
5.1.2consider setting up national platforms to allow the different ministries and specialised institutions to work transversally, and to facilitate the drafting and implementation of national integration strategies through a permanent dialogue with organisations that reflect the interests and opinions of different diaspora communities in the country of residence; encourage the establishment of similar platforms at local level;
5.1.3provide adequate financial support programmes for diaspora associations to help them to professionalise their activities, develop and consolidate their networks and conduct joint initiatives;

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 5.1.3, add the following words: ", including on social media platforms;"

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 5.1.3, add the following words: " , as already recommended in Assembly Resolution 2043 (2015) on democratic participation for migrant diasporas;"

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 5.1.3, insert the following paragraph:

"encourage the media to convey the positive role of educational and cultural networks of communities living abroad;"

5.2when concerned as countries of origin:
5.2.1develop stronger partnerships between the relevant public bodies – in particular schools and universities, embassies and cultural and linguistic centres – and diaspora organisations, seeking to encourage their action through knowledge sharing and concrete support (provision of teachers, educational materials and adequate premises) for language tuition and its recognition within the formal education system;
5.2.2if it is not already the case, consider establishing a high-level office (possibly at government level) responsible for diaspora issues and/or the election of representatives of diaspora communities to national and, where appropriate, regional parliaments;
5.3in co-operation with the Council of Europe and the European Union, seek partnerships to:
5.3.1set up a European parliamentary network on diaspora policies;
5.3.2support the establishment by the diaspora communities of a European platform to collect data and assess the cultural and social impact of diaspora communities on European societies, to promote the exchange of best practices and to develop joint projects.
6The Assembly, welcoming the Council of Europe Action Plan on Building Inclusive Societies (2016-2019), calls on the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to include therein concrete initiatives in the sphere of culture and education which involve diaspora communities.

In the title of the draft resolution, replace the words "communities living abroad" with the following words: "migrant and diaspora communities".

Explanatory note

Referring to the definition of diaspora in paragraph 6 of the explanatory memorandum, the proposed title reflects better the scope of the report; as second, third or fourth generations may be also nationals of the "country of residence". The term "living abroad" in the current title could be misleading.