The European Commission proposed a new package of measures to support to legal migration on 27 April 2022. Several circumstances justify the new rules, such as the highest job vacancy rates in Europe in at least a decade (average 2.6%), and also the 5 million Ukrainian refugees who have entered the EU in the past months. The EU leaders think that if the EU wants to keep its economic engine running, on which its global relevance relies, it will need more people in the engine room. The measures aim to make it easier for EU companies to have workers from third countries and protect them from abusive labour practices.
The package would provide simpler, legal pathways for legal migrants (e.g. the possibility to lodge visa applications online, reform the single permit directive in a way that allows workers to change employer while keeping their permit to stay) and also aims to address labor shortages, especially in sectors such as healthcare. The new package contents a slightly more inviting and more easily navigable framework, rather than an invitation since the EU member states are the ones that are deciding on the volumes of the legal migration. The Commission’s proposal will now have to be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council. A decision on the proposal is expected in 2022.