EU Aims to Attract High Skilled Workers: Blue Card to be Revamped

Written by | Friday, June 10th, 2016

The European Commission is planning to review the “blue card” scheme as soon as possible with the aim to attract high-skilled works from third countries. The proposal to revamp the “blue card” migration rules is meant to help European businesses in attracting people from all around the world. “The early and effective integration of third-country nationals is key to making migration a benefit for the economy and cohesion of our society,” Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said. “At the same time, we have to better equip our systems to deal with labor market and skills shortages in the future. The revised EU Blue Card scheme will make it easier and more attractive for highly skilled third-country nationals to come and work in the EU and strengthen our economic growth,” he added.

The EU Blue Card was introduced in 2009 but has been largely proven to be underused and inefficient. The scheme is mostly hindered by the existence of parallel national rules and procedures that make it difficult to effectively use the card and take advantage of the EU labor market. Only about a third of highly educated migrants to OECD countries choose the EU as a destination, which means that skilled workers are attracted to other countries that compete economically with the EU.

Thus, the latest proposal aims to revise the existing rules and improve the EU’s ability to attract skilled third country nationals. The EU-wide scheme aims to introduce and reinforce a single EU-wide scheme, to replace parallel national schemes, enhance intra-EU mobility, strengthen the rights of the Blue Card holders and their family members, and lower the salary threshold, thus giving Member States more flexibility to adjust the threshold to their labor markets context. The new Blue Card scheme is expected to positively contribute to the economy, bringing in between €1.4 and €6.2 billion from highly skilled workers who come to the EU to take up jobs.

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