The Council of the European Union has adopted a directive setting out entry and residency requirements for highly skilled and qualified non-EU citizens who plan to live and work in the EU.
With the Blue Card Directive, which was officially adopted yesterday, October 7, the EU aims to attract and retain qualified workers, particularly those in demand in sectors facing skill shortages, TheSchengen.com reports.
“To stimulate our economic growth and make the most of our green and digital transformation, we need to be able to attract the best talent. The Blue Card will cement the EU’s position as a leading global destination for highly qualified workers, with flexibility, mobility and opportunities for family reunification,” said Slovenian Interior Minister Alec Höjs. , Commenting on the adoption of the blue card guidance.
The new rules on the EU Blue Card, which will replace the existing one, aim to harmonize residency and entry requirements for highly skilled and qualified workers as well as increase their attractiveness.
In particular, the newly adopted rules define more comprehensive admission criteria, facilitate family reunification and mobility within the EU, grant a high level of access to the work maker, simplify procedures for recognized workers, and extend the scope to non-EU family members who are EU citizens and beneficiaries of international protection.
As such, it has been emphasized that in order to attract highly qualified workers and to promote and enhance the EU Blue Card Scheme, Member States should strengthen their media campaign and advertising activities directed to third countries.
Moreover, according to a Council press release, in parallel with the EU Blue Card scheme, member states will be able to maintain the national schemes. However, it has been noted that the rules will introduce several provisions to ensure that Blue Card holders and their families are not at a disadvantage compared to National Pass holders.
The new rules on the EU Blue Card have already been amended on September 15, but they still need to be formally adopted for applicants to benefit from them.
The approved rules are expected to enter into force 20 days after their publication in the Official Gazette. After that, member states will have two years to implement the laws necessary to comply with the directive.
The EU Blue Card Directive has been in effect since 2009 and sets out the conditions of residence and entry that a third-country national must meet to take up employment in one of the member states. However, due to the outdated rules, the scheme did not attract a sufficient number of workers.