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EU Blue Card for Skilled Immigrants to Be Introduced Soon

Workpermit.com (01/26/11)


The European Union Commission is forging ahead with a directive to introduce a skilled immigration "blue card" allowing migrants from non-EU nations to live and work provisionally in the EU.


The card would accord a work and residence permit to non-EU citizens and would let them relocate to another member state after certain conditions are satisfied, and card holders also would be allowed to bring family members with them.


"If we are going to realize our goals in the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU needs to remain open and competitive in the labor market, and we need to create more legal ways for migrants to come to Europe," says Maria Asenius, chief adviser to EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.


EU-based businesses are having trouble finding suitable personnel to fill specialist positions in areas such as engineering and information technology, and the blue card will help EU employers who need to import foreign skilled labor to fill these positions.


"We are not making these proposals only to be nice to Indian or American businessmen," Asenius says. "It is in our interest that companies operating in Europe can have access to the right people with the right skills at the right moment".


Asenius argues that it is "high time" that the EU start making itself more appealing to foreign skilled employees, and such a move will improve the EU's economy as well as boost EU countries' competitiveness.


EU member states are moving forward with deployment of the blue card directive by this summer.


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