Thursday

22nd Feb 2018

EU to ease access for skilled migrants

  • Skilled asylum seekers in Europe who have job offers could integrate faster with the Blue Card (Photo: Josh Zakary)

The European Commission has proposed to make it easier for highly-skilled migrants to access Europe's job market as part of its response to the migrant crisis.

The idea is to revive the so-called Blue Card scheme.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The scheme was adopted in 2009 on the model of the US work permit, the green card, in order to help fill gaps in the EU’s ageing workforce but was never widely used.

"If we want to compete with the US Green Card, we need an EU Blue Card that deserves the same merit," Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU migration commissioner, said in Brussels on Tuesday (7 June).

EU nations granted fewer than 14,000 Blue Cards last year. Germany, which also took in more than 1 million asylum seekers in 2015, issued the most permits.

Avramopoulos envisaged an EU-wide scheme for the card to replace parallel, often competing national systems.

It is designed to make more jobs available by lowering the minimum salary that employers must offer and by having the minimum length of the contract from 12 months to six.

Blue Card holders would have quicker access to long-term residence status, while family members could join hold the card holders more easily.

In other perks, card holders would also have more freedom to move between those EU states that sign up to the system.

The Commission estimated that the scheme would add between €1.4 billion to €6.2 billion to annual EU growth.

Member States would still be responsible for deciding how many workers they admitted from outside the EU. The UK, Ireland and Denmark would not take part.

The scheme would also be extended to refugees with proven professional qualifications.

The EU executive said last November that the estimated arrival of some 3 million migrants to Europe in 2015-2017 would boost the EU economy but only if the can enter the labour market.

Pope Francis to EU: Migrants are not criminals

In a speech strongly criticising European leaders, pope Francis urged the EU to welcome migrants and revamp its economic policies to make them fairer toward young people.

EU to overhaul 'Blue Card' work permit for migrants

The EU is keen to overhaul its "blue card" system to attract migrants to come and work in the bloc amid fears of the longterm economic consequences of a population that is living longer and having fewer children.

Feature

Samos: Inside Greece's 'nightmare' EU hotspot

Asylum centres on the Greek islands have borne the brunt of implementing the EU-Turkey deal. The centre on Samos island has struggled more than the others.

Libya return demand triggers reintegration headaches

The UN migration agency (IOM) had planned to help return and reintegrate 5,000 people from Libya to their home countries, but ended up aiding 20,000 in 2017. The extra demand has piled on the pressure.

Frontex naval operation to look for 'foreign fighters'

The EU border and coast guard agency, or Frontex, has launched a new naval operation called Themis. The operation replaces its surveillance Triton mission but with a bigger emphasis on security and intelligence gathering.

News in Brief

  1. Belgian PM to host 11 EU leaders ahead of summit
  2. Tusk all but rules out pan-EU candidates in 2019 elections
  3. Tusk: EU budget agreed before 2019 elections 'unrealistic'
  4. Commission fines car cartels €546m
  5. Juncker: 'nothing' wrong in Katainen meeting Barroso
  6. Juncker appoints new head of cabinet
  7. MEPs decide not to veto fossil fuel projects list
  8. Factory relocation risks drawing Vestager into Italian election

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  2. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  3. International Climate ShowSupporting Start-Ups & SMEs in the Energy Transition. 21 February in Brussels
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  9. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  10. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  12. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP

Latest News

  1. UK seeks flexible transition length after Brexit
  2. Commission defence of Barroso meeting leaves 'discrepancies'
  3. MEPs bar WMD and killer robots from new EU arms fund
  4. Canete gets EU parliament pension while still commissioner
  5. Bank of Latvia sends deputy to ECB amid bribery probe
  6. We are not (yet) one people
  7. Intellectual property protection - the cure for Europe's ills
  8. Eastern states push back at rule of law conditions on funds