The 27 of the EU give the green light to expedite the change of employer of foreigners


The 27 states that make up the European Union (EU) gave their go-ahead this Thursday for citizens to foreign with a residence and work permit can change their employer with more agile procedures than the current ones, in order to “further improve the protection of workers from third countries”.

The Twenty-seven agreed that this step can be done prior notification or request to the competent authorities of each State, in a measure that forms part of the common position that the Council of the EU (national governments) has agreed to negotiate the revision of the Directive on the single permit.

The reform of this legislation, proposed last year by the European Commission, claims that the validity of the work and residence permit of a foreign worker do not depend the fact of being linked to a sole businessman or specific employer. During a meeting in Luxembourg of the Twenty-seven Ministers of the Interior and Migration, the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU supported the need to reform this Directive created in 2011, thanks to which foreign workers receive authorization to work at the same time and reside in the EU.

Different objectives in the review

“The aim of the review is to attract the talent the EU needs by simplifying the scope of the directive, streamlining procedures, strengthening safeguards and equal treatment of third-country nationals,” stressed Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard, who chaired the community meeting.

The Council of the EU noted that “more rights for third-country workers and their equal treatment compared to EU workers should reduce the labor exploitation” and in a statement he expressed his wish that the revision “promote” the recruitment of qualified workers. The proposed reform of the Commission presents certain safeguards to deny a change of employer or employer for a foreign worker in the Union, subjecting the exchange to a verification of the labor market situation and the fact that the change of employer does not entail a drastic change in the type of professional activity that performs the worker.

In case of job loss, the Council of the EU agreed that workers from third countries can continue in the territory of the Member State where they reside if the total period of unemployment does not exceed two months during the validity of the single permit. This position differs from that expressed in March by the MEPs of the Civil Liberties committee of the European Parliament in a report, where the majority supported a margin period of at least nine months so that unemployed foreign workers can find a new job.

The proposal The initial statement of the European Commission, on the other hand, placed this period at three months, one more than those agreed this Thursday by the governments of the States meeting in the Council. The joint position among the Twenty-seven reached today will serve as the basis so that the Council negotiates with the European Parliament the definitive legislative text of the reform of the Directive on the single permit, once the plenary session of the Chamber establishes its position. The latest data available from the Eurostat community office indicates that, in 2021, EU countries issued more than 2.9 million single permit applications.

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