Council of Europe: ‘Diversity and Mass Migration Have Always Been Integral Part of Continent’s History’
“Europe has always been a continent of diversity. Migration has always been an integral part of its history,” the Council of Europe has claimed in a statement marking International Migrants Day.
The international body stated on Monday that mass migration from the third world is “Europe’s present and future opportunity”, but warned that EU nations are “facing several challenges”.
Challenges identified by the Council, which is considered Europe’s top human rights watchdog, include any public opposition to mass migration, along with countries “struggl[ing] to guarantee … human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
“Anti-immigration political agendas swing election results while adding to the expansion of populism in Europe,” writes Tomáš Boček, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Migration and Refugees.
Complaining “the voices of those who portray migrants as a threat to public order, national identity and security are louder than others”, he argues that Europe must embrace the “economic, social and cultural development” that mass third world migration can bring to the continent.
“We will be able to address these challenges only if the integration of migrants and refugees who will remain in Europe is successful”, says the statement, which bills integration as the solution to national security concerns.
Stating that Europe “must take special care” of so-called child refugees, Boček urges EU nations to adopt the Council’s “Action Plan”, some measures of which include granting migrants a raft of “rights” and never questioning their age.
One of the document’s key demands is that unaccompanied minors be allowed to bring their families to Europe. However, generous family reunification laws can act as a “pull” for encouraging young migrants to be sent on dangerous journeys, the UK government has pointed out.
Boček concludes by praising the Council’s role in turning Europe into “a place of refuge for people in need of protection and better-life opportunities for migrants”, a transformation he asserts has taken place as a result of “human rights, democracy and rule of law”.
“We must make sure that these values remain at the heart of what we do for migrants and refugees. The choices we make today will have an impact on our future.”
The statement comes as migration commissioner of the EU — which is the Council of Europe’s “most important institutional partner at both political and technical levels” — Dimitris Avramopoulos, announced that Europeans must accept mass migration from the third world as the “new norm”, warning no part of the continent can remain “homogenous and migration-free”.