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Single work permit - Far-from-perfect outcome but a step forward for rights for third country nationals in the EU


24 Mar 2011


Social Europe & Jobs

The European Parliament today voted in favour of new EU rules creating a single EU work and residence permit. While regretting that the adopted text contains a number of flaws, the Greens believe the proposals will nonetheless represent a step forward for the rights of third country nationals. After the vote, UK Green Euro-MP Jean Lambert said:

"With this legislation, the EU is at least showing it is willing to recognise the contribution made by third country nationals to the EU. While the proposal adopted by the EP today is far from perfect, it nonetheless represents a step forward for the rights of third country nationals living and working in EU member states. The single permit will simplify the often-complicated procedures for third country nationals looking to work in EU countries, notably by creating a common, simplified administrative process.

"There is a clear commitment to equal treatment in the workplace under this legislation, as well as the right to freedom of association. Third country nationals, who are legitimately in the EU, will also have the right to basic social services and security, albeit with certain limitations.

"There has been some concern about the scope, notably the fact that the proposal does not cover seasonal workers. With new EU legislation in the pipeline on seasonal workers, the Greens will work to ensure this group will also be guaranteed the same rights as all workers in the EU. There can be no exceptions from the principle of equal rights for equal work."
Richard More O'Ferrall,
Press and media officer,
Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament
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