Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

European solidarity in the context of asylum and international protection

Resolution 2487 (2023)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 3 March 2023 (see Doc. 15718, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, rapporteur: Lord Alexander Dundee). See also Recommendation 2248 (2023).
1. Aware that Europe faces the highest number of refugees and displaced persons since the Second World War, mainly due to the military attack by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the high level of European solidarity shown among member States and with Ukraine in the context of asylum and international protection of persons fleeing war, conflict, persecution and situations of human rights violations.
2. In view of its Resolution 2448 (2022) “Humanitarian consequences and internal and external displacement in connection with the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine”, the Assembly calls on member States, the European Union and the United Nations to maintain, and if possible increase, the level of their humanitarian solidarity with displaced Ukrainians, as the Russian military persists in targeting and attacking the civilian infrastructure within Ukraine.
3. Recalling its Resolution 2404 (2021) “Instrumentalised migration pressure on the borders of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with Belarus”, the Assembly is appalled by the abuse of migrants and refugees for political purposes and invites all member States to review their visa and immigration arrangements as well as their readmission agreements and practices in order to prevent vulnerable persons from falling victim to migrant smuggling and organised crime.
4. Taking into account its Resolution 2409 (2021) “Voluntary relocation of migrants in need of humanitarian protection and voluntary resettlement of refugees”, the Assembly approves the measures taken by a few member States which have already relocated or resettled vulnerable refugees from overwhelmed locations in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine as well as from Libya and other countries. Equally to be welcomed is the decision by European Union member States to apply the Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof, and offer public transport free of charge to displaced Ukrainians. All member States of the Council of Europe should strengthen solidarity through more voluntary relocations and resettlements.
5. Considering its Resolution 2380 (2021) “Humanitarian action for refugees and migrants in countries in North Africa and the Middle East”, the Assembly reminds member States that European solidarity should also be extended beyond the European continent, especially to those countries along the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, these being transit countries for irregular migrants seeking to reach Europe. Conflicts, climate change and poverty are increasingly driving people from many different places to try to reach certain member States.
6. Following its Resolution 2356 (2020) “Rights and obligations of NGOs assisting refugees and migrants in Europe”, the Assembly applauds the immense humanitarian contributions made by so many non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Without NGO action and co-operation, member States on their own would not be able to cope sufficiently with the humanitarian demands of millions of refugees and persons at present under international protection in Europe. Since NGOs and charities are the mainstay of all humanitarian efforts on the ground, this work thus deserves the full support of member States, the European Union and the Council of Europe, in particular through its Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs).
7. Welcoming the Cities4Cities initiative of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to support twinning with Ukrainian cities, the Assembly recognises the central role played by local authorities when people first arrive in search of asylum or international protection. Member States and the European Union should, therefore, support local authorities financially, technically and in administrative ways in order to improve their ability to take on emergency situations caused by the arrival of large numbers of people.
8. Appreciating the very strong financial solidarity shown by the European Union towards Türkiye for hosting some 3.7 million displaced Syrians since 2015 under the European Union–Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016, as well as with displaced Ukrainians both inside Ukraine and abroad, the Assembly calls on member States to match these achievements by providing bilateral financial assistance and support through the United Nations.
9. Approving the appeal for more European solidarity made by members of the Assembly’s Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, together with members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Migration of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe on the occasion of the joint web conference hosted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on the eve of World Refugee Day 2021, the Assembly invites national parliaments and the European Parliament to regularly hold thematic debates to identify needs and strategies for greater European solidarity in the context of asylum and international protection.
10. As a result of the action decided upon by member States after the Russian military attack against Ukraine and also in view of the increasing number of arrivals of refugees from other countries, the Assembly invites:
10.1 the Council of Europe Development Bank to continue its effective support for displaced Ukrainians as well as other refugees and persons under international protection in member States;
10.2 the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to help local authorities, which host large numbers of internally displaced persons, refugees and persons under international protection, to conduct local needs assessments and communicate the results to national parliaments and governments;
10.3 the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe to foster co-operation among humanitarian NGOs running local activities on the ground to meet the humanitarian needs of refugees and persons under international protection;
10.4 the European Youth Centres of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and Budapest to step up efforts to help displaced young Ukrainians and other young refugees;
10.5 the European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (North-South Centre) of the Council of Europe in Lisbon to do more for vulnerable refugees and migrants from the global South who live in Europe.