Still ‘a long path ahead’ despite Blue Card initiative

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

The Commission’s Blue Card initiative on the conditions of EU entry and residence for highly qualified employment is “a step towards a common European policy that promotes different sets of rights for different groups of people”, writes Manuela Lusetich, migration project officer at Solidar.

In the October edition of Confrontations Europe, Lusetich concedes that states “have the right to determine who they would like to admit”, although she adds that it is “usually recognised” that liberal-democratic countries should comply with the principle of non-discrimination in doing so. For her, “the line between preference and discrimination is a tiny one”. 

She questions whether countries should shape their migration policy to strengthen their international competitiveness, and doubts that migration policy can be a substitute for “appropriate industrial, research and development, educational and training policies”. 

Lusetich believes that rather than focusing on highly qualified employment, the Commission should be dealing with “the hot and burning issue” of the admission of low-skilled and seasonal workers into the EU, and claims that these workers are just as needed as highly-skilled ones. 

Regarding the details of the proposal, she questions how realistic it is to ask people for a work contract before they enter the EU, and thinks that it does not to enough to deal with issues related to “brain-drain, over-qualification and brain waste, discrimination and individual rights vs. state concerns”. 

Lusetich concludes that whatever the final judgement on the Blue Card, there are more practical issues to be addressed such as the proper recognition of qualifications and free movement of workers within the EU. 

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