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Revision of the Blue Card Directive

12-12-2017

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, expanding the rights of beneficiaries, and abolishing parallel national schemes. Stakeholders and experts agree with some proposed changes, while others have received more criticism (for example, the abolition of national schemes). The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs has adopted its report, and voted to open interinstitutional negotiations. The Council has also agreed its mandate and trilogue meetings started in September 2017. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

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.

Autor externo

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 p