Swedish MEP Abir Al-Sahlani has gathered the support of 496 of his 705 colleagues in the European Parliament behind the idea of instructing the European Commission to improve the conditions for attracting legal labor migrants to solve the problem of labor shortages in the EU
The European Parliament on Thursday proposed the introduction of a five-year visa for entrepreneurs and highly skilled migrant workers working under legal contracts in the EU.
The idea is part of a report calling for an ambitious recruitment scheme for low- and middle-skilled third-country workers, as well as a framework for recognizing their skills and qualifications. Thus, according to MEPs, the labor shortage in Europe caused by the aging population can be overcome.
“Europe is facing demographic and economic challenges. To tackle them and ensure that Europe is strong and competitive, we need labor migration. That is a fact. We need to make it more attractive for migrant workers to come to Europe and “put the system in order” to make sure the rules are followed, “said Abir al-Sahlani, a Swedish MEP from the Renew Europe group.
The five-year visa, according to lawmakers, should be issued to entrepreneurs who want to set up businesses and startups, as well as to highly mobile workers such as artists and cultural professionals. The creation of a five-year multiple-entry visa that allows visits of up to 90 days a year, according to the European Parliament, will encourage such people to open a business in the EU.
MEPs are also calling for a review of the current rules for long-term citizens in order to allow them to move to another Member State from the date of their authorization under conditions similar to those already applicable to European citizens. The number of years required to obtain a long-term residence permit in the EU should be reduced from five to three, parliament said.
The European Parliament has also asked the European Commission to come up with a proposal to simplify the application procedures, including visas, in the existing legislation on single permits. This will allow applications to be submitted both by a Member State if the applicant has a valid residence permit and by a third country.
It is also proposed to change the current rules for seasonal workers, allowing them to stay in the EU for three months, even without a job, while looking for a new employer. During the three-month period, they should retain the existing permit.