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The Impact of EU Directives on the labour migration framework in EU countries


  • Jonathan Chaloff



This paper is part of the joint project between the Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission and the OECD’s Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs on “Review of Labour Migration Policy in Europe”. This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Grant: HOME/2013/EIFX/CA/002 / 30-CE-0615920/00-38 (DI130895). This paper is a revised version of an earlier paper (DELSA/ELSA/MI(2015)3) presented and discussed at the OECD Working Party on Migration in June 2015. The paper examines the mechanisms for labour migration management across individual European countries. Distinguishing between high- and low-skilled workers, it investigates the policies aiming at attracting and retaining qualified migrants. It finds that in EU countries there are several different forms of barriers to labour migration, each of which is affected differently by EU legislation. It then specifically focuses on the Student, Researchers and EU Blue Card Directives, studying their effects on the real policy framework in the EU countries affected, in terms of approach. It finds that the first two directives have had a modest impact on the legislative framework, which was largely aligned with the Directive prior to transposition in many cases. The Blue Card scheme is compared in detail with national schemes, in terms of the key parameters of the Directive (criteria, processing standards, benefits, etc.). The paper examines the use of a salary threshold and its different effect according to the country in which it is applied. The paper concludes by examining the impact of these directives on recruitment opportunities, attractiveness and levelling the playing field among EU countries. It explores some options for adjusting the policies in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Chaloff, 2016. "The Impact of EU Directives on the labour migration framework in EU countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 180, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:180-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5jlwxbzpwh33-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Stráský, 2016. "Priorities for completing the European Union's Single Market," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1315, OECD Publishing.
    2. Katrin Oesingmann, 2016. "Labour Migration from Third States to Germany – an Overview of the Current System, Immigrant Numbers and Main Countries of Origin," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 69(13), pages 44-48, July.
    3. Hanwei Li, 2020. "How to Retain Global Talent? Economic and Social Integration of Chinese Students in Finland," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(10), pages 1-19, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • K37 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Immigration Law

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