EU migration scheme
Olivier Tell, European Commission
Following the Stockholm Programme, the EU is committed to develop a comprehensive and sustainable migration scheme. A key objective is to develop a coherent and ambitious economic immigration policy, while respecting Member states' competences as regards the volumes of admission of migrant workers in their labour markets. The EU is indeed facing demographic challenges that will remain far beyond the economic crisis. More generally, labour immigration, if well managed, can contribute to increased competitiveness and economic vitality in the EU in the coming years. The creation of this legal migration policy will have to be based on the needs and priorities of national labour markets, as well as on enhanced integration policies and a uniform level of rights and obligations for migrants legally residing in the EU. In this context, the proposed framework directive, creating a single work/residence permit and right to equal treatment for third country workers, under negotiation, will be a key element of this EU scheme. Future actions of that kind comprise developing new and flexible admission systems for economic immigration, for example in areas mentioned in the Commission's Policy Plan on legal migration of 2005: seasonal workers and intra-corporate transfer of key personnel of international companies. A major challenge for the future is to develop tools to improve skills recognition and labour matching between the European Union and third countries.