EU 'blue card' plans criticised

Germany has said there is no need for a common EU visa to attract highly skilled workers from outside the EU.

EU 'blue card' plans criticised
The German Employment Minister, Olaf Scholz, was among several EU colleagues to criticise the plan for a "blue card" drawn up by the European Commission.

The commission believes that common rules would help solve the shortage of highly-skilled labour across Europe.

EU member states have been trying to agree a common asylum and immigration policy since 1999.

New labour pool

Mr Scholz said Germany had 3.5 million unemployed people and companies were able to find workers within their own country.

If there was a shortage of skilled workers, he said, then that could be addressed on a national level and according to the job sector concerned.

There was also concern from Spain that a common visa programme could lead to a "brain-drain" from African countries.

Mr Scholz suggested that any EU countries looking to fill gaps should look to member states in Eastern Europe, whose citizens are still barred from working in some member states.

Germany is concerned that, if a centralised system goes ahead, Brussels could then dictate the numbers of economic immigrants a country would allow in.

One-stop shop

The European Justice Commissioner, Franco Frattini, says that is not the case, but he believes that a one-stop shop for applications would make the system more straightforward.

The work permit would initially be limited to a two-year stay but could then include the chance to take up a second contract in another EU country.

Mr Frattini has also proposed a system of fines and penalties for employers who hire illegal workers, to tackle the high number of illegal immigrants.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Aralık 2007, 11:01