EU Blue Card Deal reached: Step towards a fairer migration system
Last night, negotiators from the European Parliament, Council and Commission reached an agreement on the EU Blue Card Directive, setting out the conditions of entry and residence of non-EU nationals for the purposes of highly-qualified employment. The trilogues started in 2017 and with negotiations finalised, the next step is for the European Parliament and Council to formally adopt the EU Blue Card Directive.
Damian Boeselager, Volt MEP and Greens/EFA shadow MEP in the lead LIBE Committee, comments:
“The agreement reached last night is a step towards a fairer and more resilient EU-wide immigration system. The Blue Card Directive will improve the lives of those seeking work in the EU and thanks to our efforts, will ensure that refugees and seasonal workers now have full and immediate access to the visa scheme. We need to normalise the narrative on migration and shift the focus away from border controls to a system that invests in people and opportunities.
“The new fast tracked and simplified Blue Card procedure will create better rights for international talent and give people access to long-term mobility within the EU, a clear added value that no national schemes provide. This is the first step on the road to an EU-wide migration system, something we have long pushed for. We were successful in gaining provisions ensuring that Blue Card holders will be treated equally alongside nationals of member states. A big improvement is that now Blue Card holders & their families can accumulate years for long-term residence, even if moving to other EU countries or changing from national schemes to EU schemes.
“There are still several areas to improve, as national schemes will continue to exist in parallel. Unfortunately, asylum seekers will still not be able to apply and this must be addressed to create a fairer system in the future that taps on the existing potential within the EU. While progress has been made to recognise IT skills equivalently to qualifications, more progress needs to be made in other sectors! To build an open society, address European labour demands, and ensure that all workers have equal rights in the workplace, European governments must work towards a harmonised EU-wide migration policy.”
"Even though not as ambitious as we had hoped, it is still a significant improvement to the current system! Together with my Group, I will keep fighting for a European Migration Code that covers all sectors, including low and medium-wage migration. The Parliament is restless and wants to see more policies on labour migration: our upcoming Parliament report on New Avenues for Labour Migration sends this signal to the Commission and the Member States."
This Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on the 'New Avenues for Legal Labour Migration', calling for Europe to rethink its migration policy and look at the benefits migration can bring to European and international companies, migrants and their families, and third countries.
The Revised Blue Card Directive sees that mobility procedures within the EU will be simplified and IT skills will now be assessed equally to formal qualifications. Families of Blue Card holders can relocate immediately to the EU. Visa holders & families can accumulate years for long-term residence even if moving to other EU countries. Equal treatment is guaranteed for Blue Cards holders to national employees.