European Commission Regions discuss EU migration policy
EU legislation review (REFIT), the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) and posting of workers also on the agenda of the Committee's December plenary
How to better manage refugee flows and legal migration on the ground will be the central topic of the plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions on 7-8 December. Local and regional leaders will be joined in Brussels by Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, and Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. The European Committee of the Regions will present its perspective on EU proposals to reform the asylum system, improve pathways for legal migration to Europe, and integrate immigrants. The CoR's opinion on the asylum system has been drafted by Vincenzo Bianco (IT/PES), mayor of the Sicilian port city of Catania; the rapporteur on legal migration is Olgierd Geblewicz (PL/EPP), marshal of West Pomerania; and Karl Vanlouwe (BE/European Alliance), Member of the Flemish Parliament, drafted the opinion on integration. Their recommendations will be adopted after a debate with Commissioner Avramopoulos.
The plenary will be preceded on 6 December by a conference on "The Integration of Third-Country Migrants: Role of Local and Regional Authorities". Members of the CoR will be joined by representatives from – among others – the European Commission, the UNDP, UEFA, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, and the Migration Policy Institute to discuss issues such as housing, education, training, job skills, health, sport and culture.
The progress and the territorial impact of the REFIT initiative launched by the Commission in 2012 to review and simplify EU legislation will be discussed with Vice-President Frans Timmermans on the occasion of the adoption of the opinion 'The REFIT Programme: the local and regional perspective' by rapporteur François Decoster (FR/ALDE), Vice-President of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie Regional Council. REFIT is of key importance to the CoR as local and regional authorities are responsible for the implementation and application of 70% of EU legislation.
During the plenary, regional and local representatives will adopt their position on the proposed extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), launched in 2015 to boost private investment in the EU. How to improve its impact on regional economies and its geographical reach are among the main objectives of the opinion led by Wim Van De Donk (NL/EPP), Governor chair of the Council and of the Executive Council of the Province of Noord-Brabant.
POSTING OF WORKERS
The delicate issue of the posting of workers across European labour markets will be also addressed by EU regions and cities. The draft opinion prepared by Yoomi Renström (SE/PES), Member of Ovanåker Municipal Council and Chair of the SEDEC Commission, calls for a reasonable balance between the free movement of services and the protection for posted workers in order to fight social dumping. It suggests that the time limit beyond which the law of the host country must apply in full to a posted worker could be reduced to 12 months.