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Migration as an opportunity for European development

During its plenary session in Strasbourg, on 28 June, PACE will dedicate a full day of debates to “Migration and Refugees”. The report on “migration as an opportunity for European development” by Andrea Rigoni (Italy, ALDE) will allow members to discuss a series of concrete measures aimed at facilitating mutually beneficial migration to Europe.

“The first thing to be done is to counter the negative rhetoric against migration and demonstrate to the public the economic evidences of its potential benefit to our societies. All public and private actors should be involved in the process of formulation of a new evidence-based migration policy for Europe, centred on the real economic benefits and prospects for development,” Mr Rigoni stressed.

“At the same time, we will have to eliminate a number of bureaucratic barriers and practices of covert and overt discrimination against migrants, which significantly hinder their integration into host societies. To gain advantage in the global competition for the most highly-skilled specialists, European countries should increase labour market transparency and create more legal opportunities for migration to Europe,” Mr Rigoni added.

The proposals contained in his report were unanimously adopted by the Migration Committee on 27 April. They include measures to facilitate access of migrants to the labour market, to enable the full and active participation of migrants in all aspects of life, to improve national legislation as well as to facilitate social security protection for all working migrants and their families. The committee also proposes the creation of a European Migration and Intercultural Development Observatory, which would assist member States in the development of strategies, legal frameworks, action plans and specific projects in the field of migration. Such an Observatory could be created as a so-called enlarged Partial Agreement of the Council of Europe, in cooperation with the European Union.