EU Blue Card to be replaced

Blue Card Directive 2009/50

The EU commission has submitted a proposal to have the Blue Card Directive replaced.

The 2009 “EU Blue Card” Directive intended to facilitate the admission and mobility of highly qualified third-country national workers, and their family members, by harmonizing entry and residence conditions throughout the EU and by providing for a set of rights. It aimed at making the EU more competitive in attracting highly qualified workers from around the world, thereby contributing to addressing labor and skills shortages within the EU labor market, and strengthening the EU’s competitiveness and economic growth. However, the Blue Card failed to achieve these objectives.

The current Blue Card Directive has demonstrated intrinsic weaknesses such as restrictive admission conditions and very limited facilitation for intra-EU mobility. This, combined with many different sets of parallel rules, conditions and procedures for admitting the same category of highly skilled workers which apply across EU Member States, has limited the EU Blue Card’s attractiveness and usage. This is neither efficient, as such fragmentation entails a burden for employers and individual applicants, nor effective, as shown by the very limited overall number of highly skilled permits issued.

In the Netherlands highly skilled workers seldom used the Blue Card. The Dutch highly skilled migrant program was by far the preferred over the Blue Card by highly skilled workers and their employers. This proposal for the Blue Card aims to improve the EU’s ability to attract and retain highly skilled third-country nationals, as well as to enhance their mobility and circulation between jobs in different Member States. Especially the latter has proven to be not so easy as intended under the current Blue Card Directive.

For questions about the Blue Card, or about the possibilities for highly skilled staff to obtain residency here in the Netherlands contact our office at 00316161487, by email