On 27 April, the European Commission proposed a set of ‘Skills and Talent’ proposals under the Pact on Migration and Asylum to address the current demographic and migration challenges in the EU and prepare for future needs.
Renewed EU legal migration policy is supposed to attract talents to Europe and address a number of persisting challenges, including the need to support the labour market integration of people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Commission proposes to revise the Long-term Residents and Single Permit Directives that set the framework in terms of procedures and rights for a large part of the non-EU workers legally residing in the EU. The main objectives are to make procedures more efficient and quicker, strengthen the mobility within the EU of nationals of non-EU countries that are already residing and working in the EU, further integration and prevent labour exploitation.
Among the main changes to the Single Permit Directive is the right for the permit holder to change employer during the permit’s validity. The permit should also not be withdrawn in the event of unemployment for at least 3 months.
Concerning the Long Term Residents Directive, the Commission suggests inter alia that the required 5-year period of residence can be cumulative in different Member States, including for students. It also proposes to improve the right to family reunification without integration conditions, with full access to work for family members, and children of long-term residents born in the EU may acquire the status immediately.
In addition, this summer the European Commission will launch an EU Talent Pool pilot initiative in order to support the successful integration of Ukrainian refugees to the EU labour market. The EU-wide platform will help to map and match the skills and qualifications of beneficiaries of temporary protection with potential employers locally or in another EU Member State, taking into account the specific needs of the applicants.
Earlier, the EU launched its first-ever Temporary Protection Directive that allows access to accommodation, schools, healthcare and jobs for Ukrainian nationals and their family members.
Building on the experience of the Talent Pool pilot initiative, the EU is preparing to launch the EU Talent Pool programme by mid-2023 that will be opened to other Skilled nationals from outside the EU.
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