The EU interior ministers gathered in Brussels could not find a compromise on all issues of a single immigration policy.
Opinions differed about what sanctions to apply to employers resorting to illegal immigrants. Twelve states, primarily the countries of the Mediterranean, advocate tough measures, including criminal prosecution. But eight countries in northern Europe and Scandinavia believe that national governments must decide for themselves what measures to take.
The ministers also discussed the “blue card” proposed by Franco Frattini when he was the European Commissioner, so called by analogy with the American “green card”. It can be introduced into the EU to simplify the procedure for entry of migrants who have the necessary work skills for the Old World. However, this requires the consent of all 27 states.
“The blue card should increase the attractiveness of Europe for those immigration candidates who have proven their qualifications. As a labor market, we are competing — admittedly — with countries like the United States, ”explained Jacques Barrot, European Commissioner for Justice.
A number of states also disagree with the French proposal to send inspections to enterprises that use illegal immigrants more than others without warning. We are talking about the construction sector, hotels and restaurants, farms.
According to the EU, today 8 million illegal immigrants work in European enterprises. In the next 20 years, according to experts, the EU will need 20 million skilled migrants; especially in areas such as engineering and computer technology. The meeting of the EU Interior Ministers will end on Friday.