Debate of the EP on conditions of entry of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment: extracts from the Council and the EC statements
End production: 19/11/2008 First transmission: 19/11/2008
The EU's "Blue Card", planned to attract highly-skilled immigrants to take jobs in EU economic sectors suffering from skill shortages, modelled on the US "Green Card" system, needs clearer definitions, says the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament. The Committee proposes clarifications, and more flexibility for Member States, whilst urging them not to "steal" brains from third countries and reaffirming the "Community preference" principle. The Blue Card, proposed by the European Commission, is designed to attract highly-qualified workers from third countries by giving them access to the 27 Member States. This card would not replace existing national systems, but would provide an additional channel of attraction, with a common grant procedure.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| Exterior view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
|| Manfred Weber, Member of the EP, (in GERMAN) saying that brain drain is an important thing; there shall be no recruitment of highly qualified people from third States who are necessary in their own country and you can only give a blue card if brain drain is not involved;
saying that you have got to look at the requirements of the blue card; we want a Europe wide authorisation system because that is a European value added; there are things important as well as is Community preference if there are qualified people within Europe going for those jobs which are already in Europe; they can also be given a blue card;
|| Patrick Gauber, Member of the EP, (in FRENCH) saying that the proposal for a directive ensures that all third country nationals are on equal footing in many sectors; socio-economic rights are guaranteed for those already living in the EU; and the rights of the others will also be safeguarded; this will lead to more social cohesion
|| Jean Pierre Jouyet, French Minister of State with responsibility for European Affairs and President in office of the Council, (in FRENCH) saying that the European Parliament and the Council were concerned about the question of salary level; the Council came up with a lower threshold with possible exemptions in respect of sectors were there were shortages; that would mean that more people could have access to the blue card;
saying that a message on Europe's determination to organise legal migration for professional reasons and this would be first text to mention this specific objective, a message on Europe's reactive in regards to its construction with a symbol, the blue card, which will allow real mobility within EU borders for highly qualified people, in respect of the competence of each Member State which keep their say on their employment market;
saying that this text establishes a common framework of rights for all workers from third countries who live and work legally in the EU;
|| Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security, (in FRENCH) saying that both texts show that Europe is open, welcoming to nationals of third States who can reside and work legally at all levels of qualifications, obviously in full possession of their rights;
saying that it is crucial that we make sure that nationals from third countries working here legally get the same minimum basis of rights in all Member States;
saying that the Commission can not accept the amendment trying to limit the issuing of the blue card only to countries where the Union has signed agreements with; this could limit the negative effect on developing countries but the Commission feels that at the end what would happen would limit the scope of the directive and it might engender a risk of discrimination against highly qualified immigrants who would use national systems which we nor the Parliament can control;
saying that he hopes that by the end of the year we will be able to show that Europe is not inward looking and is open to immigration flows, whereas more and more we want to have a concerted agreed management of this process;
|| Cutaways (5 shots)