EU Makes Progress on Migration Agenda: Relocation, Resettlement and Blue Card

Written by | Thursday, May 28th, 2015
@Eubulletin

Two weeks after the Commission had presented the European Agenda on Migration, the EU’s executive arm came up with more concrete steps towards a comprehensive approach designed to make the management of migration more effective. Yesterday (27 May), the Commission presented several measures to respond to the influx of migrants into the EU, including relocation, resettlement, anti-smuggling measures, guidelines on fingerprinting and a public consultation on the future of the Blue Card Directive.

As to relocation, Jean-Claude Juncker and his team proposed to set up an emergency relocation scheme to help Greece and Italy to manage the influx of migrants across their borders. The scheme will apply to Syrian and Eritrean citizens in need of international protection who arrived to either of the two countries after 15 April. A total of 40,000 migrants should be relocated from Greece and Italy to other Member States based on a distribution key over the next two years. The number accounts for about 40 percent of all asylum seekers in undisputable need of international protection who arrived in both countries last year.

Regarding resettlement, the Commission asked Member States to resettle 20,000 people from outside the block in clear international protection over next two years whereby this system is likewise based on the distribution key. At the same time, the EU wants to introduce tough measures to fight human trafficking and smuggling. The measures will include cooperation with internet and social media providers to ban sites advertising smugglers’ activities, cooperation with financial institutions as well as setting up a list of suspicious vessels.

Moreover, the Commission wants to make progress in the existing Blue Card Scheme, which should attract highly skilled individuals to come and work in the EU. The equivalent of the U.S. Green Card is, however, scarcely used, which is why Brussels wants to invite various public stakeholders to discuss what could be improved to make the scheme more useful. The last action proposed by the Commission yesterday was fingerprinting of migrants upon their arrival. Teams from Frontex, Europol, and EASO will newly work on the ground to identify, fingerprint, and register incoming migrants.

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