Brussels (Brussels Morning) Skilled migrant workers will be able to access the EU jobs market more readily, following a political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council on Monday, 17 May.
The agreement, which will review the blue card directive, establishes entry and residence conditions for highly qualified non-EU nationals coming to live and work in the EU.
MEPs broadly welcomed the new rules, which Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said “will recognise the potential of highly skilled workers”.
“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”, said MEP Damian Boeselager (Greens/EFA).
MEP Ramona Strugariu (Renew Europe) applauded an agreement that comes after “years of struggle with the revision” of the blue card directive.
This EU-wide admission system aims to attract and retain highly qualified workers, particularly in sectors facing skills shortages.
Under the revised rules, the EU expects to provide greater flexibility, improved conditions and simplified mobility, placing the EU firmly among the top destinations for highly qualified workers, the Council said.
“The green and digital transformation of our economies will only succeed if we have a workforce with the necessary skills to lead it. Education and lifelong training will play a key part in this, but we must also make sure that we are equipped to compete in the global search for talent”, Eduardo Cabrita, Minister for Home Affairs of Portugal, declared on behalf of the Council.
The EU decision to accept more skilled migrants into the EU market not only looks to increase the skills pool, but also anticipates the impact of demographic changes associated with the growth of an ageing population in the coming decades.
“Migrant workers already make an important contribution to the EU’s economy. But our shrinking, aging society means we must continue to attract skills and talent from abroad”, Commissioner Johansson observed.