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EU Aims To Attract More Highly-Skilled Migrants As Only 31% Choose A European Destination

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With the revision of the European Blue Card, the EU hopes to motivate highly-qualified people from third countries to fill vacancies in the Union’s labour market.

The European Blue Card is “Europe’s answer to the US Green Card”, allowing its holder the legal right to live and work in the EU. It is similar to Malta’s residence permit.

While the member states are determining the conditions to welcome workers to their labour markets, they will ensure that these highly-skilled non-EU workers are only admitted after employers have unsuccessfully searched for national workers.

The Union is increasingly competing with other developed countries for talented and skilled workers, as of all non-EU migrants coming to OECD countries, only 31% of highly-educated migrants choose an EU destination.

Whereas the US issues 140,000 Green Cards yearly, the EU only welcomed 37,000 skilled professionals on Blue Cards in 2019.

“The EU labour market is facing an ageing population and increasing skills requirements,” said Tomáš Zdechovský, the MEP responsible for the issue.

Tonight, the European Parliament debates the new rules for admitting skilled workers to the EU – which is key to improving European competitiveness and boosting economic growth, Zdechovský added.

In order to attract more highly-skilled workers to the EU, the union plans to include more flexible admission conditions, better salaries, family reunification, improved rights and the possibility to move and work more easily between EU member states.

“The new rules will simplify the conditions for job mobility for these workers across the EU or allow applicants to renew their university degrees in the field”, Zdechovský continued.

The reformed rules on the Blue Card Directive are an important part of the EU’s overall migration policy. After the formal adoption of the Directive, Member States will have 2 years to transpose the rules into national law.

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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Belle dives deep into seas and stories. She’s passionate about mental health, environmental sustainability and social justice. When she’s not out and about with her dog, she’s more than happy to hear from you.

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