EU’s new blue card scheme may attract over 20 mln Asian, African immigrants

November 14th, 2007 - 2:47 am ICT by admin  
The blue card scheme, unveiled by EU Immigration Commissioner Franco Frattini, will allow close to 20 million immigrants and their families to settle in the member states.

Those having over three years’ work experience or a university degree will be entitled to get the blue card, which will let them to work in a member country under “fast-track” immigration reforms.

However, the qualified workers will need to prove they have been offered a job lasting at least one year and with a salary at least three times the legal minimum wage applicable in the country they are heading for.

Meanwhile, the Tory parliamentarians have expressed “worry” over the plan.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis called on Labour to “make clear it will not hand over more control to Brussels”.

“These proposals mark a very worrying development. At a time when Labour has patently failed to exert a proper level of control over immigration the last thing we need is more meddling from Brussels.

“The level and impact of immigration from outside the EU to the UK is different to other EU countries. This is precisely the kind of policy that should be left to national governments and Labour must make clear it will not hand over more control to Brussels,” the Daily Mail quoted Davis, as saying.

Tory Euro MP Syed Kamall said: “A one-size-fits-all immigration policy will fail to cater for the individual needs of the local economy.

“Immigration is an area where national governments should cooperate through the EU but yet again the Commission is using a legitimate concern of both business and citizens as an excuse for more centralisation of powers.”

While announcing the plan, Frattini had described it as a global job advertising blitz to attract engineers, doctors, nurses and IT workers to Europe from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said: “These are simply the latest ideas from Commissioner Frattini and frankly we don’t support them, which is why we stay outside EU migration directives.”

The scheme allows Britain to opt out of it initially, as it is not bound by the EU policy on immigration and asylum, the daily reported.

However, the blue card holders would be allowed to enter the UK by the “back door” as the scheme allows them and their families to move to a second EU country of their choice after two years.

Moreover, they can also apply to stay permanently after five consecutive years in any EU state. (ANI)

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