EU: Migrants Sought to Help Europe – Economy

As Vice President of the EU Commission, the Greek Margaritis Schinas has a very special area of ​​responsibility: “Promoting the European way of life”. In his view, this way of life includes dealing openly with questions of migration, not only out of philanthropy, but also for very pragmatic reasons: because Europe urgently needs new workers.

Schinas therefore presented on Wednesday, together with Ylva Johansson, the commissioner responsible for migration from Sweden, a concept to attract more migrant workers to the EU according to uniform European rules – through a reform of the right of residence as well as through partnerships with third countries. The point in time, in the middle of the Ukraine crisis, certainly shows political courage.

Schinas admitted that of course “the usual suspects” would now complain again that Europe was opening its doors unchecked. And it is clear to him that taking in people who have fled Ukraine – five million came to the EU, 3.8 million are still here – is a heavy burden for some countries. But the time was ripe, said Schinas. From the care sector, from the digital economy, from the tourism industry – he hears complaints from everywhere that no staff can be found and that the situation will become even worse due to demographic developments in Europe. The Commission speaks of “talents and skills” that they therefore want to bring to the EU.

“Talent partnerships” are intended to prevent illegal migration

First of all, the Commission is proposing the reform of two EU directives. The directive on a combined residence and work permit (“single permit directive”) is intended to oblige the member states to also accept applications from third countries. Another innovation would give migrants the right to change employers during their stay. This should help them to defend themselves against exploitative working conditions. In addition, the permit should not be withdrawn for at least three months if you are unemployed.

The second reform concerns the long-term residents directive, which grants migrants special rights after five years of legal residence. The Commission proposes that these five years can also be spent cumulatively in several Member States and not just in one. In addition, the time as a student should be creditable in the future. The right to family reunification should also be strengthened.

The second part of the proposed package are so-called “talent partnerships” with third countries. Schinas and Johansson named countries such as Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt that could be considered – also with the ulterior motive of preventing illegal migration. Anyone interested in a job in the EU could register on an EU platform within the framework of such partnerships and receive training for a job in advance. The aim is to attract young people, especially for the nursing sector. As a “pilot project”, the Commission intends to launch a Europe-wide online platform that will put people from Ukraine looking for work in contact with employers from the 27 member countries.

Poland and Hungary have so far resisted asylum seekers

According to Commissioner Johansson and Commissioner Schinas, the plan is to meet the need for labor in the EU through migration. Both were visibly happy that, for once, they didn’t have to talk about preventing illegal migration, but about everyday migration in Europe. According to the Commission, around two to three million third-country nationals come to the EU legally every year.

The reforms now presented accompany the “Migration Pact” presented by the Commission in September 2020. To date, it has not found a majority among the member states because countries such as Poland and Hungary are opposed to accepting asylum seekers. The coming months will have to show whether the 27 states are willing to pursue a common policy on labor migration. Commissioner Schinas said he did not want to give up hope of a “bing bang”: agreement on all areas of migration policy.

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