What`s up with the Blue Card Reform?

Due to the few sign-ups to the Blue Card scheme, the European Parliament (EP) approved the EU `Blue Card` reform which had; 556 in favour, 105 against, and 31 abstainers. The original purpose the `Blue Card` which was introduced in 2009, was to bring highly skilled workers from outside the EU to plug in the labour shortage gap in particular sectors. Brussels wishes to make it easier and more appealing for highly skilled non-EU workers in various sectors, to migrate to the EU in order to contribute to the development of the Union and its States, while combating the diminishing working-age population that is expected to decline by -12% in 2070.

People are divided whether lowering the criteria for admission and raising the Blue Card holders’ rights, will truly be a sustainable solution for the long run situation in Europe. The Social Director of Business Europe, Maxime Cerutti, stated that the reforms are welcome. However, there needs to be a more comprehensive initiative in order to attract even more highly skilled non-EU workers for the long run.

On the 24th of September, the EU released a document stating that the Hungarian State “does not consider either necessary or appropriate the further harmonization of the relevant rules in the field of legal migration”. Hungary has received only 6 Blue Card holders from the 2019 scheme; yet still reiterate their position on the migration topic and oppose this bill, based on the premise of protecting the labour market and seeing no relevance to the harmonization.

Cerutti went on to say that this bill is only one piece of legislation and that Europe truly needs a comprehensive initiative with the aim of progressing economic migration from third countries. He acknowledged that the Union States should be the ones that dictate the numbers of people that can take into their State. Furthermore, Cerutti goes on to reiterate the need for an increase in talent pool made-up of EU and Non-EU citizens into the labour market, which would assist in formulating and implementing sustainable employment and migration policy for a more fruitful future.

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