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S&Ds: Safe and legal migration opportunities, like single permit, are “win-win” for Europe


23 Mar 2023


Global Europe

In a vote led by the Socialists and Democrats today, the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee supported new legal migration rules that will help deal with labour market shortages in the EU and that will help stop the illegal exploitation of migrant workers.

Last year, Eurostat estimated that by 2070, the size of the EU’s working age population would go from about 65% to between 56% and 54% of the total EU population. For the Socialists and Democrats, migrant workers play a key role in helping Europe deal with demographic change and labour market challenges.

Under the revision of the Single Permit Directive – voted today – there will be a combined procedure, for both residence and work, for non-EU workers. To prevent unfair and abusive practices by employers, the new rules will also guarantee a set of rights so that non-EU workers are treated equally to national workers.

Javier Moreno Sánchez, European Parliament rapporteur on the Single Permit, said:

“Legal migration is a win-win for Europe. Firstly, we want to make the procedure for obtaining a single permit as simple and fast as possible, so that it can become a useful tool for companies and workers from third countries, responding quickly to the needs of the labour market and strengthening safe and legal paths to reach Europe in search of work.

“Secondly, we are also taking action to stop employers bending or breaking the rules. These abusive practices undermine the benefits of legal migration opportunities. By paying their tax and by contributing to Europe’s economy and society, third country workers deserve equal treatment in terms of rights. That’s why we are fighting for a guaranteed set of rights for non-EU workers that are equal to national worker’s rights. This is essential to stop employers from exploiting workers and to prevent a race to the bottom on working conditions.”

Note to editors

The position of the LIBE committee builds on the Commission’s proposals by:

•           extending the scope of application of the directive;

•           reducing the maximum time for a decision on an application from 4 months to 90 days;

•           allowing the worker to change jobs during the validity period of a permit;

•           extending the period of unemployment from 3 to 9 months to allow a permit holder to find a new job.

With Parliament’s position confirmed, negotiations with member states and the European Commission will get underway.


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