Migration and Home Affairs

Legal Migration Fitness Check - REFIT initiative

The purpose of this Fitness Check is to evaluate and assess the existing EU legislation on legal migration based on the following five evaluation criteria: Relevance, Coherence, Effectiveness, Efficiency and EU added value. The Fitness Check will identify gaps and inconsistencies and consider possible ways of simplifying and streamlining the current EU framework in order to contribute to a better management of legal migration flows.

The results of the Fitness Check may be used as a basis to assess what actions (both legislative and non-legislative) might be required to improve the coherence of the legal migration legislation, as well as its effective and efficient application. It will also be used to consider whether there is any mismatch between the scope of the existing legal migration legislation and the needs for specific EU rules for other categories not covered by the current regime. In addition, the evaluation of the migration legislation will provide a possibility to better attune legal migration policy to the economic and social needs of the EU, also in the light of the need to prevent and combat labour exploitation.

The Fitness Check covers the following Legal Migration Directives*:

All these Directives are included in the Fitness Check. The relevance and coherence of all Directives will be assessed, but the scope and depth of the analysis on other aspects will differ depending on how long the Directive has been implemented. The Directives that were adopted in 2014 (Seasonal workers, Intra-corporate transfers), recently adopted as a recast (Students and Researchers, in 2016) or currently subject to a review (EU Blue Card), shall only be partly considered in this Fitness Check, since a full assessment of effectiveness, efficiency and EU added value is not possible at this stage. For the EU Blue Card, a recent evaluation took place in 2015, and the Fitness Check will build upon that evaluation. For more details on the differentiated approach, see section C. 1 of the Road Map.

* Please note that the following Member States are not bound by these Directives: Denmark, Ireland (apart from Directive 2005/71/EC) and the United Kingdom.

Roadmap for this initiative (Date of roadmap: 01/09/2016)

The Roadmap provides further information on the initiative. Stakeholders were invited to provide feedback on the roadmap via this webpage.

No feedback on the roadmap has been received so far.

Timeline of the Fitness Check


Take part in the consultation activities

A 12-week open public consultation with a survey in all languages has been closed on 19 September 2017.

Furthermore, targeted consultations were also carried out, addressing expert groups, forums and networks such as:

  • the European Migration Forum (2-3 March 2017),
  • the Expert Group on Economic Migration, composed of a balanced group of administrations, employers, trade unions, migrants groups and academics,
  • the European Migration Network (with Member States' representatives),
  • other relevant experts groups set up by the European Commission on specific issues,
  • relevant civil society platforms,
  • the European Economic and Social Committee is carrying out a targeted consultation of their members to provide input into the development of the Committee's opinion on the Legal Migration Fitness Check. This consultation focuses on a few Member States and certain aspects of the Fitness Check.

See more in the Consultation Strategy.

View the documents relating to the evaluation

Key documents so far:

View key reference documents