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EU Ministers approve immigration policy, Blue Card still unresolved

At a meeting in Brussels on September 25, EU Interior Ministers approved the 'Treaty on Immigration and Asylum', establishing the principles of joint EU migration policy. The treaty details the common procedures in the sphere of legal and illegal migration, including more efficient protection of the EU's borders. The treaty is expected to be approved by European leaders at the EU summit in October. No agreement was reached, however, concerning the 'Blue Cards', designed for highly qualified professionals from third countries. The 'Blue Card', analogous to the American Green Card, was meant to contribute to reducing the lack of highly qualified workers on the European labour market. At the beginning of the process, there were about 200 reservations which have been removed one by one, with the exception of the Czech reservations.

At a meeting in Brussels on September 25, EU Interior Ministers approved the 'Treaty on Immigration and Asylum', establishing the principles of joint EU migration policy. The treaty details the common procedures in the sphere of legal and illegal migration, including more efficient protection of the EU's borders. The treaty is expected to be approved by European leaders at the EU summit in October.

No agreement was reached, however, concerning the 'Blue Cards', designed for highly qualified professionals from third countries. The 'Blue Card', analogous to the American Green Card, was meant to contribute to reducing the lack of highly qualified workers on the European labour market. At the beginning of the process, there were about 200 reservations which have been removed one by one, with the exception of the Czech reservations.

According to Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, Slovakia, along with the Czechs, thinks that the card shouldn't come into use before the EU has cancelled the restrictions preventing people from the new EU members from entering the market in Austria, Denmark and Belgium. Austria and Denmark have announced that they would not do so until 2011.

"Citizens [from outside the EU] shouldn’t have more rights than EU citizens," Kaliňák said. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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