The European Commission adopted last week in Strasbourg a Communication setting out its new vision concerning the external aspects of migration. At the heart of the new strategy are new partnerships with neighboring countries based on the cash-for-cooperation principle. Countries in the wider EU neighborhood will be able to benefit from more EU funding, if they cooperate on migration issues (border controls, but also returns). The EC promises to use a mix of positive and negative incentives. The first countries on which the EU will focus are Lebanon and Jordan, with Nigeria, Senegal and others following shortly. The EU will also mobilize more private investment for the development of neighboring countries. The logic of such steps is that far fewer people will want to leave for Europe afterwards. The EU will also strongly focus on disrupting the businesses of people smugglers.
At the same time, the EC presented its proposal to strengthen the legal migration routes to Europe for high-skilled workers. The so-called Blue Card exists today and it implements national immigration schemes. However, according to the Commission, this model does not work properly. The EC thus proposes a new Blue Card legislation that would replace all existing immigration schemes for high-skilled workers, while making EU more attractive for high-skilled professionals. The proposal for a new directive will have to be adopted by the EP and by the Council.
26th February 2018
9th March 2018