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The impact of European population dynamics on migration policies

Doc. 14143: compendium of written amendments | Doc. 14143 | 13/10/2016 | Revised version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1The significant changes in the dynamics of the European population in the 21st century call for an assessment of their impact on future migration policies in Europe.
2The 47 member States of the Council of Europe have a total of 826 million inhabitants, which represents 11.3% of the world population. The average population density in Europe is 35 inhabitants per km², which is lower than the world average (55 inhabitants per km2). There is therefore potential for population growth.
3Furthermore, in contrast to other world regions, the Council of Europe countries are particularly concerned by a “demographic winter”: owing to the decline in fertility, the average birth rate of 1.5 children born per woman is the lowest in the world. The demographic winter varies in intensity from one country to another, engendering diverging population trends.
4At the same time, Council of Europe countries have the oldest population in the world, with the highest percentage of people aged 65 and over, and this situation will accelerate in the future also as a result of increasing life expectancy. The resulting reduction in the proportion of the European population of working age creates a need to consider more actively how to attract young skilled migrants to the European labour market.
5The Parliamentary Assembly believes that to make better use of the current substantial migration influx in Europe, countries of immigration need to develop long-term political strategies based on the needs of the labour market, responding to integration challenges and encouraging their rapid entry into the labour market.

13 October 2016

Tabled by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Votes: 36 in favor 3 against 3 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 5, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly is also concerned about the negative impact of labour migration from some eastern European countries on their population dynamics and on the social situation of migrant families. These countries should counterbalance the negative effects of emigration on development, by combating the main push factors for people leaving the country, such as corruption, bad governance and a lack of fair justice systems. Special support should be provided to vulnerable families, including children who have been left behind by their parents."

Explanatory note

This paragraph reflects the rapporteur's findings from the mission to Moldova, in particular the negative impact of emigration on the Moldovan demographic situation and economic development.

6The Assembly is convinced that in order to respond to the present population challenges in Europe, a cross-sectorial approach to social, labour market and immigration policies should be applied, and that the human rights and dignity of all people should be put at the forefront of all related policies.
7The Assembly therefore invites the Council of Europe member States concerned to:
7.1develop policies to address the European demographic winter by:
7.1.1promoting social policies which encourage couples to have as many children as they wish;
7.1.2developing policies to strike a better balance between family and working life, including in favour of women’s and men’s greater participation in the labour market by providing the necessary training programmes, flexible working hours, parental leave systems and family planning assistance, as well as material incentives;
7.1.3introducing national childcare strategies to encourage young people to combine work and family life;

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 7.1.3, add the following words: ", including childcare at inconvenient hours".

7.2develop special policies to curb the negative effects of population ageing by:
7.2.1introducing labour market reforms in order to encourage the employment of senior citizens, when necessary;
7.2.2implementing salary and pension system reforms in order to make the employment of senior citizens more attractive, when necessary;
7.2.3developing employment policies which appeal to young people and preventing the rural exodus of young people;
7.2.4supporting life-long learning initiatives aimed at increasing the proportion of skilled workers;
7.2.5fostering health-care policies to increase healthy life expectancy;
7.3develop, as required, forward-looking migration policies, including safe transport of persons, to attract qualified migrants, in particular by:
7.3.1conducting sectorial analyses of the labour market to identify where there is a real shortage of skilled labour;
7.3.2ensuring that all obstacles are eliminated from national legislation for the rapid entry of refugees into the labour market;
7.3.3creating access to employment for regular migrants, responding both to the needs of host societies and eliminating the black labour market with its associated trafficking and exploitation of migrants;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 7.3.3, insert the following paragraph:

"creating a social protocol, including any legislation and regulation required in order to guarantee that migrant workers have pay and conditions equivalent to those of national workers;"

In amendment 4, replace the words "creating a social protocol, including any legislation and regulation required in order to guarantee" with the following words: "taking appropriate measures to ensure".

7.3.4promoting vocational training for refugees to encourage their integration into the labour market;
7.3.5facilitating the recognition of the educational diplomas and vocational skills of migrants;
7.3.6further developing vocational training and language courses for migrants, especially for migrant women;
7.3.7promoting the successful integration of migrants and their families by revising integration policies to ensure that migrants are not segregated in the host society and that they are involved in the social and cultural life of local communities;
7.3.8enhancing public information on the economic benefits of legal migration and cultural diversity for society.
8The Assembly encourages the development of policy co-ordination between the Council of Europe member States in relation to demographic trends and their influence on economic development. It also encourages the relevant international organisations (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union, for instance) to collect data on population dynamics in European countries and carry out comparative studies on population and migration-related issues.

13 October 2016

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr Nigel EVANS, Mr Ian LIDDELL-GRAINGER, Mr Mogens JENSEN, Mr Boriss CILEVIČS

Votes: 13 in favor 34 against 3 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 8, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly recognises that the booming population of Africa and other regions is likely to lead to unprecedented migratory pressures which will be aggravated by increasing conflicts over land and water and by desertification; further recognises that these pressures will be beyond any conceivable absorptive capacity by Europe; and therefore calls upon member States of the Council of Europe to assess the scale of the challenge and to devise appropriate responses in consultation with and cooperation with the key countries concerned."

9Finally, the Assembly decides to come back to this issue on a regular basis.