Yes, Blue Card adoption is unfortunately postponed, but hopefully for only few months… an article from AFP
The EU’s new “blue card” scheme to attract skilled migrant workers has been postponed, the bloc’s French presidency announced Thursday.
The blue card, meant to entice highly-qualified non-EU nationals to Europe by giving them access to certain rights in any nation, was due to be endorsed on December 8.
“The Blue Card will be formally adopted in the early months of 2009,” said French Immigration Minister Brice Hortefeux, after chairing talks with his EU counterparts in Brussels.
So endorsement that had to come on 8th of December 2008 will come somewhere in February-March 2009…
The Czech Republic, which takes over the EU’s rotating presidency from France on January 1, had previously held up a deal until its own workers were given access to all EU member states.
The barriers to them in Germany and Austria are set to come down in 2011.
“There’s no problem,” said Hortefeux. “The fact that the Czech Republic has lifted its objections has permitted us to adopt the project and it will be endorsed under their presidency.”
I find it strange that Czech Republic is so interested with having all EU states opening borders to nationals of Czech Republic looking for job. Normally ‘labor donor’ countries are rather concerned with brain drain phenomenon and are thinking of opposite – how to preserve the labor force within the country.
The European Parliament, in a non-binding report last week, urged the 27 EU countries to set the salary bar for immigrant workers higher than they had planned.
“The states are not bound by these amendments but we are not taking the parliament’s vote lightly and we are going to see if improvements are possible,” a French diplomat said Tuesday.
However, he added: “There is no margin for manouevre to adjust the text on the ceiling for salaries.”
The MEPs wanted EU interior ministers to insist that “blue card” candidates must have a job offer in Europe which pays at least 1.7 times the national average wage in the country they are applying to work in.
EU states have agreed that the amount should be 1.5 times the salary level. The level could be lowered in some countries in sectors short of workers.
I think everybody now know by hard that it will be between 1.5 and 1.7 of national average wage. To say the truth I don’t think this is a problem for applicants because average wages in EU are quite low.
With their population growth in decline, EU member states are looking to foreign labour to fill certain jobs but are struggling to compete with the United States, which attracts roughly twice the number of skilled workers.