Europe needs 'coherent migration policies'
5 April 2006, NEW YORK - With ever more immigrants arriving in Europe each year, a German official on Tuesday called on governments to adopt coherent policies to maximize migrants' potential.
5 April 2006
NEW YORK - With ever more immigrants arriving in Europe each year, a German official on Tuesday called on governments to adopt coherent policies to maximize migrants' potential.
Rita Sussmuth, former president of the German Parliament and professor at a private university in Berlin, told a UN meeting on international migration in New York that she hopes Europe will be able to develop "coherent migration policies" in the next five years.
At the moment, neither Germany nor Europe has a solid position on migration, she said, and warned that the next five years could be controversial.
"Europe's progress in forming coherent migration policies is based mainly on a dialectic made up of trial and error, one of weeding out contradiction," she said. "We must learn from our mistakes and not ignore the problems our current policies fail to solve."
Sussmuth warned that European governments have been dealing with migrants in "constant contradiction."
"The point at which we must converge our efforts is to unite behind the basic common principle of maximizing the benefits of migration and reducing the negative effects of this," she said.
The UN said international migrant populations in 2005 reached 191 million, up from 175 million in 2000. There are now 115 million migrants in developed countries.
Europe has an estimated 64 million migrants, while the US and Canada have 44.5 million, Australia and New Zealand have 4.7 million and Japan 2 million.
Migrants sent home an estimated 226 billion dollars in the 2004 to 2005 period, according to the World Bank. Major recipients of the remittances included India (21.7 billion dollars), China (21.3 billion dollars), Mexico (18 billion dollars) and the Philippines (11.6 billion dollars).
The UN said remittances in some recipient countries constituted one quarter or more of that country's gross domestic product.
The UN held the week-long conference to raise awareness of migrant issues and to help governments form policies.
Subject: German news