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Revision of the EU Blue Card Directive

15-07-2021

Attracting highly qualified immigrants to Europe has been one of the EU's key priorities for several years. However, up until now the EU has not been as successful as other OECD countries. This demand for workers is expected to increase due to the increasing shortage of certain skills and the aging of the EU's population. The proposed directive, which would replace the 2009 Blue Card Directive, increases the attractiveness of the EU highly skilled migration scheme by expanding its scope, lowering ...

Attracting highly qualified immigrants to Europe has been one of the EU's key priorities for several years. However, up until now the EU has not been as successful as other OECD countries. This demand for workers is expected to increase due to the increasing shortage of certain skills and the aging of the EU's population. The proposed directive, which would replace the 2009 Blue Card Directive, increases the attractiveness of the EU highly skilled migration scheme by expanding its scope, lowering criteria for admission or expanding the rights of beneficiaries. On 15 June 2017, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) adopted its report, and voted to open interinstitutional negotiations. After the Council agreed its mandate, trilogue meetings started in September 2017, but little progress was made before the end of the 2014-2019 parliamentary term. In October 2019, Parliament decided to resume work on the file in the context of ‘unfinished business’ to be carried over to the new legislature. The European Commission’s ‘New Pact on Migration and Asylum’, presented on 23 September 2020, stressed the need to finalise the negotiations. On 17 May 2021, the Parliament and the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council finally reached an interim agreement on the revision of the directive. On 21 May, Member States’ ambassadors, in the Committee of Permanent Representatives, endorsed the agreement. And on 3 June, the LIBE committee also endorsed the agreement reached with the Council. Parliament is expected to vote on adopting the agreed text during the September 2021 plenary session. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Martina Prpic. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Migrant seasonal workers in the European agricultural sector

26-02-2021

The EU fruit and vegetable sector is heavily dependent on a non-national labour force, either from other EU Member States or third countries. Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Poland, in particular, employ high numbers of migrant seasonal farm workers. While these numbers have been steadily increasing, they compensate only partly for the ongoing decline in national agricultural workforces. Migrant seasonal workers from the EU are entitled to fully equal treatment with nationals of the host country ...

The EU fruit and vegetable sector is heavily dependent on a non-national labour force, either from other EU Member States or third countries. Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Poland, in particular, employ high numbers of migrant seasonal farm workers. While these numbers have been steadily increasing, they compensate only partly for the ongoing decline in national agricultural workforces. Migrant seasonal workers from the EU are entitled to fully equal treatment with nationals of the host country under the fundamental right to the free movement of workers within the EU, whereas third-country nationals are covered by the Seasonal Workers Directive of 2014, which grants them equal treatment as regards terms of employment and some social benefits. EU Member States manage their own seasonal worker schemes depending on the needs of the domestic labour market, their ties with third countries and their broader immigration system. The reality of seasonal agricultural work is a harsh one, with generally poor working and living conditions. Undocumented migrants, but also legal ones, can fall victim to illegal gang-master practices or even modern forms of slavery. Exploitation of women occurs in certain regions. The coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted harvests in the spring of 2020 as seasonal workers faced travel restrictions, also highlighted their essential role in EU agriculture and laid bare their sometimes appalling working and living conditions. Reacting to this situation, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the protection of seasonal workers in June 2020, calling on Member States to ensure proper implementation of the relevant EU legislation and on the European Commission to issue new specific guidelines and propose long-term solutions to fight abusive practices and protect victims. In July 2020, the Commission responded to this call by issuing new guidelines on the protection of seasonal workers in the context of the pandemic, announcing further action, including ongoing work with the European Labour Authority.

New avenues for legal and labour migration - Selected and commented bibliography of research since 2015

06-04-2020

The Commissions Legal Migration Fitness check of March 2019 found the objectives of the EU's legal migration directives still relevant to the EU's needs, but found that it presents a fragmented system which impacts the coherence and effectiveness of the system as a whole. In view of the upcoming LIBE own-initiative report on "New avenues for legal labour migration", this in-depth analysis of Policy Department C presents short summaries of relevant research on the subject since 2015, covering the ...

The Commissions Legal Migration Fitness check of March 2019 found the objectives of the EU's legal migration directives still relevant to the EU's needs, but found that it presents a fragmented system which impacts the coherence and effectiveness of the system as a whole. In view of the upcoming LIBE own-initiative report on "New avenues for legal labour migration", this in-depth analysis of Policy Department C presents short summaries of relevant research on the subject since 2015, covering the role and effects of migration policies, the mobility of third-country nationals in the EU, how to attract international talent to the EU and how to improve integration in the host society.

Maahanmuuttopolitiikka

01-06-2017

Euroopan unionin keskeisenä tavoitteena on luoda tulevaisuuteen suuntautuva ja kattava eurooppalainen maahanmuuttopolitiikka, joka perustuu yhteisvastuuseen. Maahanmuuttopolitiikan tarkoituksena on määrittää tasapainoinen tapa tarkastella sekä laillista että laitonta maahanmuuttoa.

Euroopan unionin keskeisenä tavoitteena on luoda tulevaisuuteen suuntautuva ja kattava eurooppalainen maahanmuuttopolitiikka, joka perustuu yhteisvastuuseen. Maahanmuuttopolitiikan tarkoituksena on määrittää tasapainoinen tapa tarkastella sekä laillista että laitonta maahanmuuttoa.

The New EU Blue Card Directive

29-09-2016

The Impact Assessment makes a convincing case for the need for action to overhaul the current Blue Card Directive. The IA is substantiated by sound and comprehensive research (in the form of 16 annexes) and external expertise, as well as wide consultation taking international immigration systems aiming to attract highly skilled workers into account. Although not all of the options presented appear viable, the European Commission makes a genuine attempt to identify solutions to the problem. The limited ...

The Impact Assessment makes a convincing case for the need for action to overhaul the current Blue Card Directive. The IA is substantiated by sound and comprehensive research (in the form of 16 annexes) and external expertise, as well as wide consultation taking international immigration systems aiming to attract highly skilled workers into account. Although not all of the options presented appear viable, the European Commission makes a genuine attempt to identify solutions to the problem. The limited data, about which the Commission is transparent, suggests that the quantitative evidence used in the IA, in particular regarding the economic impacts, might merit further exploration. Finally, it would have been useful if the IA had provided a link to the external IA study that underpins the Commission’s IA.        

Migration and the EU: A long-term perspective

19-05-2016

Policy debate on migration understandably focuses on short-term challenges and costs, given the refugee wave that arrived in the EU in 2015. This briefing by contrast addresses challenges and opportunities for the EU of migration in the long term, and builds on foresight work within the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS). It identifies three areas which call for robust policy responses, at different levels, in the period to 2030 and beyond: demographic change and its implications ...

Policy debate on migration understandably focuses on short-term challenges and costs, given the refugee wave that arrived in the EU in 2015. This briefing by contrast addresses challenges and opportunities for the EU of migration in the long term, and builds on foresight work within the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS). It identifies three areas which call for robust policy responses, at different levels, in the period to 2030 and beyond: demographic change and its implications for the supply of labour; the integration of migrants; and the international dimension of migration, including the prevention and management of refugee crises. The underlying assumption is that anticipatory policy (management by foresight) is preferable to, and more effective than, responsive policy (crisis management). Because the challenges posed by migration cross many sectoral and institutional boundaries, a comprehensive and coordinated response is needed. This in turn underlines the case for shared and strategic policy analysis across the EU institutions. Continual dialogue, sharing many different perspectives and with a focus on the medium and long term, is a path towards a common understanding of both challenges and choices.     

The Social and Employment Situation in Slovakia and Outlook on the Slovak EU Presidency 2016

13-05-2016

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Economic and Scientific Policy at the request of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament, presents key indicators on employment and poverty, reviews existing social and employment policies, and discusses the current issues relevant to this field. It also provides an outlook on the priorities of the Slovak EU presidency 2016.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Economic and Scientific Policy at the request of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament, presents key indicators on employment and poverty, reviews existing social and employment policies, and discusses the current issues relevant to this field. It also provides an outlook on the priorities of the Slovak EU presidency 2016.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Martin KAHANEC (Central European Labour Studies Institute, CEU, EUBA, POP UNU, IZA) and Mária SEDLÁKOVÁ (Central European Labour Studies Institute)

Between the East and the West: Mobility and Migration from the EU´s Eastern Partners

22-04-2016

The Eastern Partners were among the first countries to launch mobility dialogues with the EU. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have also engaged in a process of visa liberalisation, which has been completed in the Republic of Moldova and is in its final stages in Georgia and Ukraine. In addition, the Association Agreements with these countries include provisions, which will be applicable from 2017 for the temporary presence – up to two years – of natural persons in EU Member States. Notwithstanding ...

The Eastern Partners were among the first countries to launch mobility dialogues with the EU. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have also engaged in a process of visa liberalisation, which has been completed in the Republic of Moldova and is in its final stages in Georgia and Ukraine. In addition, the Association Agreements with these countries include provisions, which will be applicable from 2017 for the temporary presence – up to two years – of natural persons in EU Member States. Notwithstanding the influence of these mobility-fostering legal provisions, legal migration from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine is concentrated in certain Member States as a result of economic opportunities or linguistic ties. However, with the exception of Moldova, the number of migrants from the countries in question is generally smaller in Member States than in the Russian Federation, where specific legal provisions favour internal migration from members of the Eurasian Economic Union (Belarus and Armenia), and to a lesser extent from members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (Moldova and Ukraine) and Georgia. The countries of origin of those large numbers of migrant workers receive a substantial boost to their economies through personal remittances. This precious source of capital has declined recently, however, owing to falling oil prices and, to a lesser extent, to economic sanctions affecting Russia. Personal remittances from the EU are showing a similar trend, with the exception, again, of Moldova.

Thailand in 2016: Restoring Democracy or Reversing it?

18-04-2016

After staging a military coup against the Yingluck Shinawatra government, a junta has been ruling Thailand since 22 May 2014. It has drastically restricted political activities and freedom of speech. There have been numerous human rights abuses, including torture. Under a ‘roadmap to democracy’, a referendum on a new constitution is planned for August 2017 and could be followed by elections at a later stage. However, the military might retain power until the king’s successor accedes to the throne ...

After staging a military coup against the Yingluck Shinawatra government, a junta has been ruling Thailand since 22 May 2014. It has drastically restricted political activities and freedom of speech. There have been numerous human rights abuses, including torture. Under a ‘roadmap to democracy’, a referendum on a new constitution is planned for August 2017 and could be followed by elections at a later stage. However, the military might retain power until the king’s successor accedes to the throne, in order to guarantee stability. Despite close trade ties, the EU has suspended the signing of a partnership and cooperation agreement and negotiations on a free trade agreement until democracy is restored. In April 2015, Thailand received a ‘yellow card’ warning by the European Commission for problems relating to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The EU Blue Card Directive: Implementation Appraisal

11-12-2015

Labour migration policy has the potential to tackle demographic challenges and labour market shortages. As noted in the European Commission's Work Programme for 2015, the operation of Directive 2009/50 and its evaluation could be the first step towards a new European policy on legal migration. The directive sets the conditions for the work and residence of the third-country (non-EU) nationals in the EU territory but it covers only a specific group of third-country nationals - highly-qualified workers ...

Labour migration policy has the potential to tackle demographic challenges and labour market shortages. As noted in the European Commission's Work Programme for 2015, the operation of Directive 2009/50 and its evaluation could be the first step towards a new European policy on legal migration. The directive sets the conditions for the work and residence of the third-country (non-EU) nationals in the EU territory but it covers only a specific group of third-country nationals - highly-qualified workers and their family members. Despite the various positive aspects that have been introduced by the directive, such as a common European scheme for attracting highly-qualified workers from third-countries to the European Union, based on the available data one can note that there are various challenges to the existing EU Blue Card scheme. The main challenges include the general (un)attractiveness of the EU Blue Card scheme, limited use of the scheme, a lack of coordination between the EU Blue Card scheme and national schemes providing similar rights to the third-country nationals, and the limitation of the rights of the EU Blue Card holders including their intra-EU migration. Another considerable challenge to the scheme is linked with the problems of the transposition among the majority of the Member States. Although the Member States have in the end transposed the directive, their approach is very diverse. These issues present a serious stumbling block to the attractiveness and applicability of the EU Blue Card scheme. While the Parliament's role was limited to a consultation, during the adoption of the current EU Blue Card Directive, new amending legislation would be decided with the Parliament's full involvement under the ordinary legislative procedure.

Tulevat tapahtumat

21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Inside the room - Shaping Europe, 1992-2010
Muu tapahtuma -
EPRS
21-09-2021
Putting the 'e' in e-health
Seminaari -
STOA
27-09-2021
Turning the tide on cancer: the national parliaments' view on Europe's Cancer Plan
Muu tapahtuma -
BECA

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