Go back

Six countries don’t comply with EU Blue Card rules

The European Commission has reprimanded six countries that don’t comply with EU rules for the migration of scientists.

Germany, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Sweden have failed to transpose the “Blue Card” Directive into their national laws by the 19 June deadline.

The Commission sent these countries a second official request to take action, as part of its monthly package of infringement decisions on 28 October.

The Blue Card Directive put in place a common fast-track system to ease the migration of highly skilled workers from outside Europe, in particular scientists. “By not complying with EU rules, a number of member states are making it too hard for highly skilled people to come to the EU for work,” the Commission said in a statement.

On 18 July 2011, the Commission sent letters of formal notice to the six governments. This is the first step of the EU’s infringement procedure, which set a two-month deadline for governments to take action.

Italy, Malta and Portugal have taken no action. Germany, Poland and Sweden replied to the letters saying that the required legislation would enter into force next year.

The Commission was not satisfied by the responses, and has now sent so-called “reasoned opinions” to all six member states—the second step of the infringement procedure. If it not satisfied by the governments’ responses, the Commission may refer them to the Court of Justice.

The Blue Card Directive was adopted in May 2009. All EU countries except Denmark, the UK and Ireland are bound by the directive and must transpose it into their national law.