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Single permit: towards more coherent EU legislation on legal migration


14 Dec 2011


Justice & Home Affairs

Today Parliament approved measures to realise a single permit application for third country nationals to live and work in the EU without having to provide different sets of documentation for each EU Member State.

Renate WEBER (PNL, Romania) ALDE coordinator and spokesperson on this subject in the Justice and Home Affairs committee said: "The current text is not perfect but it is an attempt to provide honest people who want to come and work within the EU with an easier mechanism to do so. Maybe also to protect them from the humiliation they have to suffer in some Member States at present. I cannot imagine the EU asking to be taken seriously and pretending to be an international actor without minimum standards in migration and asylum".

According to Mrs Weber: "The quid pro quo of the 2008 Return Directive on sending back ineligible asylum applicants was to introduce legislation dealing with legal migration, making it more coherent and humane. This is a priority task for the European Commission as well as for ALDE. The complete migration package should be adopted by the end of 2012. The single permit file is the first of these measures ".

MEP Gesine Meissner (FDP, Germany), ALDE spokesperson in the Employment Committee said: "Common sense tells us that EU employers must have access to the workers they need, at the right moment. In times of crisis, this logic is even more important. However companies and employers in general who try to bring workers to Europe from abroad currently face 27 different sets of rules. A lack of common, simple rules leaves European employers struggling to find the workers they need if local employment markets are unable to provide the required skills, whilst also having  to battle with red tape".

Note to editors:

On 14 December 2010, ALDE rejected the amended proposal of directive on a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work in the territory of a Member state. The Liberals and Democrats opposed the fact that Member states could be allowed to issue additional documents next to the Single permit as this would defeat the whole purpose of having this permit. During the second reading procedure ALDE gave its green light to the revised text adopted on 24 March 2011 and endorsed today by the House, because it finally includes two key priorities for the group: it deletes the reference to the additional "documents", and asks Member states to draw "correlation tables" that allow the Commission to check the transposition of the directive. 

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