EU management of high skill migration
Title: EU management of high skill migration
Series/Number: Global Governance Programme; 2014/04; Policy Briefs; Cultural Pluralism
External link: http://globalgovernanceprogramme.eui.eu
Developed industrialised economies have been competing for highly skilled migrants for over 50 years. First policies on the matter date from the 1960s in Canada and the 1970s in Australia while the USA selective migration programme dates back to the early 1950s. However, competition among developed industrialised countries for highly skilled migrants has taken up new urgency in the last 15 years with the onset of the knowledge based economy and society. The UK was the first European country to develop an open high-skill migration policy in the late 1990s already, but other EU countries like the Netherlands or Germany followed suit in the mid 2000s. Five years after the adoption of the EU Blue Card scheme, developed to attract the best and brightest of the world to the European Union countries, data on the usage of the Blue Card scheme in selected member states show that the Directive has failed to achieve its objectives. Many critiques so far have focused on the low level of mobility that the Blue Card grants. When adopted by a member state, the Blue Card does not offer access to the EU labour market as a whole and is still related to rather cumbersome bureaucratic procedures if the highly skilled worker wants to take up a job in another EU country. Studies on Australia and the USA have shown that temporary migration visas addressing highly skilled migrants may create best opportunities for migrants and employers who sponsor them, Having high employment outcomes and good salaries, such migrants are usually enabled to move on to permanent settlement schemes smoothly. This Policy Brief focuses on the limitations that the Blue Card has with regard to the path that it offers to long term stay and settlement if the highly skilled migrant wishes, alongside the limited intra EU mobility rights that it grants. This Policy Brief suggests that the European Commission should launch a consultation with member states and relevant stakeholders with a view to making the Blue Card more attractive both for member states and for prospective high skill migrants from third countries.
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