Legal Migration Fitness Check: The European Commission launches a public consultation

The consultation will remain open until 18 September 2017

The European Commission launches a public consultation which will remain open until 18 September 2017 and will collect evidence, experiences, data and opinions to support the evaluation, by the European Commission, of the existing EU legal framework for the legal entry and stay of nationals of non EU countries to the EU Member States (legal migration).

The public consultation on the Fitness Check is aimed to evaluate and assess the existing EU legislation on legal migration with a view to identify gaps and inconstistencies and to consider possible ways of simplifying and streamlining the current EU framework in order to contribute to a better management of legal migration flows.

The results of the Fitness Check will be used as a basis to assess what actions (both legislative and non-legislative) might be required to improve the coherence of the legal migration legislation, as well as its effective and efficient application. The results of the evaluation will also be used to consider whether there is any mismatch between the scope of the existing legal migration legislation and the needs for specific EU rules for other categories not covered by the current rules, such as international service providers (within the context of trade agreements). In addition, the review of the migration acquis will provide a possibility to better attune legal migration policy to the economic and social needs of the EU, also in the light of the need to prevent and combat labour exploitation.

Checking the regulatory fitness of the existing EU law is part of the objective to ensure coherent and effective EU legislation on legal migration. With the EU population progressively aging and the working age population shrinking, a well managed migration policy is crucial to address demographic challenges, and the sustainability of its welfare system. Mismatches have the potential to limit growth, productivity and innovation and thus slow down Europe's continued economic recovery and limit competitiveness.

The current EU legal framework covers the conditions for admission of third-country nationals for work, family reunification, study or research purposes, and regulates the long-term residence in the EU. The EU legislative framework includes Directive 2003/86/EC on family reunification; Directive 2003/109/EC on long-term residents; Directives 2004/114/EC on Students and 2005/71/EC on researchers, later recast as Directive (EU) 2016/801 (entry into effect in 2018); Directive 2009/50/EC on highly skilled employment (EU Blue Card); Directive 2011/98/EU on a single application procedure for a single permit and equal treatment of third-country workers; Directive 2014/36/EU on Seasonal workers; Directive 2014/66/EU on intra-corporate transfers.

The overarching objective of the legal migration legislation is to effectively manage the legal migration flows, while ensuring a fair treatment of non-EU citizens residing legally in the Member States. Furthermore, as far as the labour migration is concerned, the additional objective is to contribute to foster competitiveness and growth in the EU, in particular by helping to fill gaps and shortages within the EU labour market.

The public consultation is addressed to the broadest public possible, both inside and outside the EU, as it is important to get views and input from all stakeholders on the difficulties they might have experienced so far.

Stakeholders specifically targeted include the following groups:

  • Non-EU citizens considering moving to the EU
  • Non-EU citizens residing or having resided in the EU
  • Employers, business representatives and non-EU service providers for the EU market,
  • National, regional, or local authorities in the EU and consulates, embassies, diplomatic missions of EU countries in countries outside the EU
  • NGOs, interested citizens and others.

The public consultation's webpage and questionnaire are available in all EU languages


Source: European Commission – Migration and Home Affairs