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Promoting migrants in the labour market to overcome Europe’s “demographic winter”

Faced with the lowest fertility rates and the oldest population in the world, the Council of Europe member states should devise “forward-looking migration policies to attract qualified migrants”, stressed the PACE Migration Committee today.

In its draft resolution based on the report by Kristin Ørmen Johnsen (Norway, EPP/CD), the Assembly pointed that in order to make better use of the substantial influx of migrants which Europe is currently experiencing, immigration countries should be developing “long-term political strategies based on the needs of the labour market, encouraging the rapid entry of regular migrants into the labour market”.

According to this text, Europe should eliminate from national legislation all obstacles which currently prevent refugees from entering the labour market rapidly, create access to employment for regular migrants and facilitate the recognition of migrants’ educational qualifications and vocational skills.

At the same time, social measures should be adopted to “encourage couples to have as many children as they wish” and policies should be devised to help them reconcile work and family life.

Lastly, the negative effects of population ageing should be curbed by developing special policies such as labour market reforms designed to encourage the employment of senior citizens, and salary and pension system reforms making the employment of senior citizens more attractive, in countries where this is necessary.