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Integration of refugees in times of critical pressure: learning from recent experience and examples of best practice

Doc. 14329: compendium of written amendments | Doc. 14329 | 28/06/2017 | Revised version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1During 2015, the mass arrival of refugees in western Europe via Turkey, Greece and the western Balkans route, combined with the continuous inflow via Italy, brought to its climax a major increase of the number of refugees and migrants. This crisis provoked responses amongst public opinion that include rejection and fear, with a widespread reluctance to receive additional refugees, putting increasing pressure on those countries receiving the greatest numbers of asylum applicants and refugees.
2Certain States which have managed the reception of particularly high numbers of refugees (Germany and Sweden, for instance) have accrued valuable experience in integrating these new arrivals. This, as well as experiences gained also in countries receiving fewer refugees, could be shared with others, thereby encouraging greater solidarity and more equitable sharing of responsibilities.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 2, after the words "for instance" insert the following words: "and especially Turkey, hosting the largest refugee population in the world, providing shelter and temporary protection for almost 3 million Syrians".

Explanatory note

Turkey currently hosts 3 million Syrians. The total number of refugees in Turkey reaches 3.2 million when including Iraquis and Afghans. Turkey grants "temporary protection" to Syrians and provides them with accommodation and food, as well as medical, educational and psycho-social services. Turkey should be recognised as receiving high numbers of refugees.

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 2, add the following sentence: "The Assembly believes that solidarity and the sharing of responsibilities should be a common concern beyond the boundaries of the European Union, and to this end calls on all member States to demonstrate political courage in finding sustainable solutions for the integration of refugees in their societies."

3The integration of refugees is a long and complicated process, requiring durable commitment on the part of both the refugees and the authorities, including the continuing engagement of civil society. If policy no longer promotes integration and the public mood towards refugees is one of mistrust and hostility, they risk becoming isolated, increasingly alienated and at risk of radicalisation.
4Effective integration is based on respect for the fundamental values of the host society, including constitutional principles and cultural practices. It engages the refugees in the daily economic, social and cultural life of the host community and it reflects understanding of and respect for the situation of the refugees and their cultural backgrounds. It is an ongoing process rather than a final destination, depending on constructive tripartite engagement between the authorities, the host community (especially civil society) and the refugees.
5The Parliamentary Assembly recognises that while requiring respect for the basic values of the host society, integration of migrants means neither assimilation – whereby newcomers adopt the host societies’ culture, values and traditions in place of their own – nor a multi-culturalism of native-born and refugee or migrant communities living separate existences according to their original cultures, values and traditions.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 5, before the word "migrants", insert the following words: "refugees and".

Explanatory note

The term "refugees" is in the title of the report. It should therefore be used consistently throughout the report.

6Recalling its Resolution 2137 (2016) on the impact of European population dynamics on migration policies, and referring to Resolution … (2017) on migration as an opportunity for European development, especially with respect to the employment of migrants, the Assembly encourages the Council of Europe member and observer States and States whose parliaments enjoy observer or partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly to ensure the successful integration of refugees by:

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6, before the word "migrants", insert the following words: "refugees and".

Explanatory note

The term "refugees" is in the title of the report. It should therefore be used consistently throughout the report.

6.1recognising that increased levels of migration are a permanent characteristic of today’s Europe and that, if well managed, the integration of refugees is a means of contributing to demographic renewal, the acquisition of new competencies and the cultural diversity and enrichment of host societies;
6.2urging politicians to recognise that refugees are protected under international and European Union law and therefore it is in the interest of the host country for them to be effectively integrated into society;

28 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination

Votes: 89 in favor 3 against 16 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.2, insert the following paragraph:

"strongly condemning and punishing any form of discrimination, racism, xenophobia and violence against refugees and migrants;"

6.3promoting the integration of refugees as a public good worth investing in;
6.4increasing efficiency and reducing the length of the processing of asylum applications and optimising the territorial distribution of asylum seekers as preconditions for public confidence and for the presence in the territory of productive, well-integrated refugees, thus helping to avoid alienation or radicalisation of refugees and political discontent in the country;
6.5ensuring that unaccompanied minors receive the necessary legal and social assistance in completing their asylum applications, and ensuring that the asylum applications of minors who have lived in the host country for a considerable length of time are completed when they reach the age of majority;

28 June 2017

Tabled by Mr Killion MUNYAMA, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Pavlo UNGURYAN

Votes: 39 in favor 60 against 11 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.5, insert the following paragraph:

"ensuring that members of vulnerable groups, including children and women, unaccompanied minors and religious minorities receive effective protection from abuse, violence and discrimination where it is necessary to temporarily accommodate them in refugee camps and centres;"

6.6with respect to national policies:
6.6.1reviewing national legislation and its implementation with a view to facilitating the integration process and eliminating bureaucratic obstacles;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.6.1, insert the following paragraph:

"designating a central contact point for refugees, which has the necessary geographical coverage, and through which all of the key integration-related information and services could be co-ordinated and channelled;"

6.6.2ensuring effective co-ordination and co-operation between the different State agencies, regional and local authorities and non-governmental organisations involved in integration projects;
6.6.3providing for effective legal and political accountability for integration processes at national and local levels;
6.6.4considering the introduction, if not yet done, of a special identity card upon registration to give the authorities access to all information on a person which is relevant for the integration process;
6.6.5introducing different elements aimed at facilitating integration at the earliest stages of the asylum determination procedure, including psychological trauma support;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.6.5, after the words "introducing different elements", insert the following words: ", including a gender-sensitive approach,".

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6.6.5, add the following words: "and the provision of female asylum officers and interpreters".

6.6.6ensuring that expenditure and programmes which benefit migrants do not introduce real or perceived reductions in investment and services for resident populations, in particular with respect to other disadvantaged groups in the country;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.6.6, before the word "migrants", insert the following words: "refugees and".

Explanatory note

The term "refugees" is in the title of the report. It should therefore be used consistently throughout the report.

6.6.7creating an environment and conditions to promote activities of non-governmental organisations and civic initiatives aimed at increased integration of refugees and migrants and encouraging the involvement of the local population;
6.6.8taking into account that consultation and participation of both migrants and civil society in the host country in decision making and the implementation of integration programmes allows policies to be better adapted to specific circumstances at national, regional and local levels, and promotes a sense of shared responsibility;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.6.8, before the word "migrants", insert the following words: "refugees and".

Explanatory note

The term "refugees" is in the title of the report. It should therefore be used consistently throughout the report.

6.6.9ensuring that multi-media communication and information campaigns are organised, targeting both residents and migrants, with the aim of providing clear and informative guidelines and a positive general environment for all;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.6.9, before the word "migrants", insert the following words: "refugees and".

Explanatory note

The term "refugees" is in the title of the report. It should therefore be used consistently throughout the report.

6.7with respect to the settlement of migrants in the host country:

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.7, before the word "migrants", insert the following words: "refugees and".

Explanatory note

The term "refugees" is in the title of the report. It should therefore be used consistently throughout the report.

6.7.1ensuring that (re)location of migrants is carried out with regard to the capacities and opportunities of the places of settlement, including educational and labour market possibilities, as well as to the needs of the migrants concerned and their family circumstances;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.7.1, before the first word "migrants", insert the following words: "refugees and".

Explanatory note

The term "refugees" is in the title of the report. It should therefore be used consistently throughout the report.

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6.7.1, replace the words "the needs of the migrants concerned and their family circumstances" with the following words: "the social and community needs of refugees concerned, the possibility to practise their culture and religion, and their family circumstances".

6.7.2providing adult migrants with the necessary language and vocational training courses as well as a level of civic instruction which provides orientations for everyday life in the country;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.7.2, before the word "migrants", insert the following words: "refugees and".

Explanatory note

The term "refugees" is in the title of the report. It should therefore be used consistently throughout the report.

28 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media

Votes: 93 in favor 4 against 4 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.7.2, insert the following paragraph:

"creating as far as possible conditions for the validation of academic and professional experience in line with best practice from European countries; introducing special methods of evaluating and recognising academic and professional qualifications of those refugees who cannot provide documentary evidence of their qualifications, building, for example on the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees, piloted by the Council of Europe and the Greek authorities;"

6.7.3providing children with immediate access to appropriate education or day care, where possible including them in mainstream educational structures, provided allowances are made to minimise language and cultural barriers;

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6.7.3, add the following words: "and providing for the possibility for refugee children to continue education even in cases where relocated families decide to resettle in a place other than that originally foreseen".

28 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media

Votes: 95 in favor 2 against 8 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.7.3, insert the following paragraph:

"strengthening the capacity of schools and teachers to receive and fully include children with a refugee background in the teaching and social life and environment at the school, including the possibility to develop modules about human rights, non-discrimination and asylum-related issues in teacher training programmes;"

28 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media

Votes: 92 in favor 3 against 8 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.7.3, insert the following paragraph:

"providing young unaccompanied migrants with support for their integration through social participation and access to education, while ensuring support in their transition to adulthood in view of the legal vacuum that exists on reaching the age of 18;"

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.7.3, insert the following paragraph:

"fully recognising the key role of women for the successful integration of migrant families and ensuring that the specific needs of migrant women are duly taken into account in terms of access to sexual and reproductive health, vocational and linguistic training, as well as independent access to education, while providing the necessary resources and training staff;"

6.7.4understanding that family reunification is an integral part of successful integration and should thus not be submitted to additional obstacles, suspensions or other measures causing delays in reunification;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.7.4, insert the following paragraph:

"granting an individual legal status to migrant women who join their spouses through family reunification, if possible within one year of their date of arrival;"

6.7.5protecting and assisting particularly vulnerable groups, such as unaccompanied minors, including by providing the latter with individual guardianship and follow-up into adulthood;

28 June 2017

Tabled by the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination

Votes: 100 in favor 0 against 6 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.7.5, after the words "such as", insert the following words: "women and".

6.7.6ensuring proper resources for social and health care services for migrants, as well as making good use of existing youth, cultural and sports initiatives that foster inclusiveness;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.7.6, before the word "migrants", insert the following words: "refugees and".

Explanatory note

The term "refugees" is in the title of the report. It should therefore be used consistently throughout the report.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.7.6, insert the following paragraph:

"exploring ways of offering cultural integration support to refugees beyond the initial adaptation phase and until they acquire citizenship;"

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.7.6, insert the following paragraph:

"involving diaspora associations in the framing and implementation of policies concerning different aspects of the integration process, including educational, cultural and social integration; encouraging the development of joint initiatives, including social media and information platforms, and providing adequate financial assistance to these support programmes;"

6.7.7making use of platforms for international dialogue and co-operation, for exchange of information and experience, such as the Council of Europe’s Intercultural cities programme, with a view to taking advantage of best practices and models.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.7.7, after the words ", such as", insert the following words: "the European Parliamentary network on diaspora policies, the Council of Europe Sport migrant integration platform and"