Did you Know?

The Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs policy focuses on migration and asylum (including legal and irregular migration, integration, readmission and return), internal security (reducing organised crime and terrorismpolice cooperation and the management of the EU's external border) and the Europe for Citizens programme.


EDC News: European Union and Migration

Over past decades migration flows, among EU Member States and in- and outside of the EU,  have had a significant impact on the current population size in most Member States. Since the early 2000s, the European Commission has been developing and expanding a European legal migration policy that sets out the conditions of entry and residence and, also, minimum of rights that migrants should enjoy to successfully integrate into the EU. Since 2005, the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM), which was reaffirmed through the recently adopted Council Conclusions on the implementation of GAMM in April 2014, has been the overarching framework for the EU external migration and asylum policy. The GAMM encompasses priorities on mobility and legal migration, irregular migration, migration and development and international protection. Other key milestones:

  • In 2003, the EU created a single status for non-EU long-term residents, which granted to all non-EU nationals continuous residing legally in an EU country for at least five years. The Directive approximates the laws of EU countries and ensures equal treatment throughout the Union, whatever the EU country of residence.

  • In 2003, the EU adopted the Family Reunification Directive (2003/86/EC) that establishes the rules and conditions under which non-EU nationals residing lawfully on EU territory – including refugees – may exercise the right to family reunification. The application of the Directive is outlined in the “Application of Directive 2003/86/EC on the Right to Family Reunification” 2008 report. Furtherguidelines were published by the Commission in 2014.

  • 2004 brought about the Council Directive (2004/114/EC) on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service. In 2005, the Council Directive (2005/71/EC) on a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purposes of scientific research was established.

  • In 2009, the EU Blue Card Directive (2009/50/EC) was adopted to facilitate the admission and mobility of highly qualified migrants and their family members by harmonising entry and residence conditions throughout the EU by providing for a legal status and a set of rights. The directive is currently under-review by the Commission, who launched a public consultation on the EU Blue Card and the EU’s labour migration policies. The consultation is open until 21 August 2015.

  • In 2011, the EU established a "Single Permit" for third-country nationals to both reside and work in the territory of a Member State, and giving rights to migrants.

  • In 2014 the EU adopted intra-corporate transferees directive (2014/66/EU) to facilitate the EU Blue Card directive.

  • In 2014 the seasonal workers directive (2014/36/EU) was adopted, which, also, sets minimum rules for the admission of low skills workers

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