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Event Report: Migration Talks #3 – The Global Race for Talents – World Solidarity Forum

  The EU Parliament welcomes the Migration Talks! The recent conference “The Global Race for Talents”, co-organised by Uphold Europe (UE) and the World Solidarity Forum (WSF) in collaboration with the MEP Brando Benifei, stirred quite a debate at the European Parliament around the revision of the EU Blue Card Scheme.     EU Blue Card – yay or nay? It is important to note that many challenges lie ahead for the Blue Card scheme. Initially, the scheme was designed to make Europe a more attractive destination for non-European talent from around the world. However, the stringent conditions made many potential candidates apply instead for one of the 28 national schemes rather than for the EU Blue Card, which became unpopular. Currently a debate is taking place on how to improve it to make it more attractive for non-EU professionals. The European Union, which has been increasingly putting importance on new industries and investing in Research and Development, could benefit in those areas where it suffers from a labour shortage. In turn, the EU Blue Card Scheme could be attractive for nationals of highly economically developed countries as well as more fragile States. However there still are some critical questions surrounding the topic: Who should be eligible for a Blue Card in the first place? Which measures are there to guarantee that the scheme does not promote “social dumping” and that the rights of its holders are effectively protected? Finally, how to ensure the scheme considers potential “brain drain” from the developing countries and conflict-areas? Both the EU institutions and the European industries should ensure mechanisms are put in place allowing for the workers to “give back”, so as to facilitate development back home. Although the updated version of the EU Blue Card Scheme is yet to be finalised, sharing critical perspectives from MEPs, experts and the audience has proven to give substantial food for thought in moving forward. Who’s on the panel? Three sectors were represented at the event. Three Members of the EU Parliament joined the discussion: MEP Brando Benifei (S&D, co-chair of the Youth Intergroup and vice-chair of the Disability Intergroup), MEP Bodil Valero (Vice-President of the Greens/EFA) and MEP Yana Toom (Member of Committee on Employment and Social Affairs from ALDE). Industry’s point of view was provided by Arnold de Boer, Adviser for Social Affairs at UEAPME. Meanwhile academic expertise was shared by Phd researcher from Maastricht University, Paulina Bury and Shamila Mahmood who is conducting a postdoctoral research in development at the University of Cambridge. The event was moderated by Axel Rupert,  policy officer at the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). Click on the links for further information about the experts and their organisations and check out #MigrationTalks on the social media for more insights about the debate. For updates on future projects and events follow the World Solidarity Forum on Twitter!    
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