07 Feb 2007

Building a Common Policy on Labour Immigration: Towards a Comprehensive and Global Approach in the EU?

Sergio Carrera

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This paper addresses the building of a common EU policy on labour immigration. It reviews the latest policy developments concerning the harmonisation of the rules for admission and residence of third-country workers in the EU. In November 2006, the European Commission published a Communication entitled “Global Approach to Migration one year on: Towards a Comprehensive European Migration Policy”, which re-emphasises the need to develop a transnational policy on regular immigration facilitating the admission of certain categories of immigrant workers through “a needs-based approach” and especially taking into account the case of the “highly skilled”. By September 2007 the Commission intends to present two proposals for directives dealing respectively with the conditions for entry and residence of highly skilled workers and a common general framework of rights for all immigrants in legal employment. The main questions evoked by the EU’s ‘global and comprehensive’ approach and these two proposals are considered along with the essential weaknesses that current policy and legal trends in the national arena may pose to any eventual Europeanisation as a result of following their patterns too closely.

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