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States should do more to correct ‘misconceptions’ about migrants

European states should do more to correct “misconceptions” about migrants, in particular those propagated by certain politicians and the media, since the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that they are a benefit to society, according to the Parliamentary Assembly.

In a resolution based on a report by Athina Kyriakidou (Cyprus, SOC), PACE pointed out that migrants are not a major burden for the public purse, according to OECD figures. On the contrary, they can fill labour shortages, help to counter population decline and an ageing society, and are a source of cultural enrichment through literature, film, art, sports, food and fashion.

Debating a separate report by Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC), the Assembly said so-called “integration tests” for migrants – used more and more by some countries – could in fact hinder integration and even foster exclusion. If they result in cutting down the number of migrants arriving or staying, they are “a step backwards”, the parliamentarians said.