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*:
- Family reunification Directive (2003/86/EC): regulating admission and residence of family members of third-country nationals (sponsors) legally residing in Member States,
- Long-Term Residents Directive (2003/109/EC), as amended by Directive 2011/51/EU (consolidated version disclaimer): allowing third-country nationals who have legally and continuously resided in a Member State for 5 years to obtain an "EU long-term resident" status and associated rights,
- EU Blue Card Directive (2009/50/EC): regulating admission and residence of highly skilled third-country workers, and their families,
- Single Permit Directive (2011/98/EU): establishing EU rules for a single application/permit and equal treatment provisions for third-country workers. It is a "framework" or "horizontal" Directive that covers third-country workers also admitted to a Member State according to national migration law,
- Seasonal Workers Directive (2014/36/EU): regulating admission and stay of third-country nationals admitted temporarily to carry out seasonal work,
- Intra-Corporate Transferees Directive (2014/66/EU): covering third-country workers, and their families, employed outside of the EU by a group of undertakings and posted to a subsidiary in an EU Member State for maximum 3 years,
- Students and Researchers Directive (EU) 2016/801: covering the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing (recast of Directives 2004/114/EC on students and 2005/71/EC on researchers).
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