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Brussels, 17 December 2010
Commissioner Malmström's statement for the UN international migrants day (18 December)
On the occasion of the UN International migrants day that will take place on 18 December, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström made the following statement:
The UN international migrants' day presents a good opportunity to remind ourselves of the important contribution migrants make to Europe in economic, social and cultural terms. This means spreading ideas, knowledge, culture and innovation. Today migrants play an essential role in our labour force - a role that is likely to be further increased given the demographic realities of Europe. I firmly believe that an effective and robust system of protection of their rights should be an integral part of our tasks. In order to allow people to make full use of their capacities and skills, it is important to work towards the successful integration of migrants as a vital political objective underpinned by the respect and promotion of the human rights of migrants. Nowadays Europe represents for many people in the world a chance for a new start, but let's not forget our history and our roots. Let's not forget that millions of Europeans had to migrate and that not so long ago we too were migrants.