To stress the point of view of the Local and Regional Authorities regarding the proposals contained in the Legal Migration - Attracting skills and talent to the EU communications.
To formulate further suggestions to improve the proposals.
Municipal and regional authorities play a key role in identifying the needs of the labor market as well as in defining the conditions that require the implementation of safeguard procedures (labor market analysis) and migration is a key driver of city growth and contributes to making cities much more diverse;
Regional and local authorities, which have the best knowledge of the needs of local and regional labor markets, should to be involved in the process of EU's transition to a green and digital economy whichrequires specific skills and the restructuring of economies and labor markets, which in turn require additional manpower and new skills;
Implementation of mobility projects and partnerships for talent should include local authorities and regional governments
On 30 November 2022, Damian Boeselager (DE/Greens), EP rapporteur on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents (recast), expressed support for the recommendations contained in this opinion during the plenary debate concerning this opinion.
In its follow-up to opinions report of 14 March 2023 the European Commission agreed to consider the wording proposed by the CoR concerning the role of regional authorities for mitigating measures during border checks, and also expressed willingness to review its proposal and taking into account CoR's definition of instrumentalization of migrants during the trialogues process.
Regarding legislative amendments to the proposal COM(2022) 650 – Long-Term Residents Directive (recast), the Commission took note in particular of Amendments 10 and 11 proposed in the opinion and it will take them into account for the future negotiations on the proposed recast and when preparing the future trilogues with the European Parliament and the Council.
Regarding amendment 18 proposed regarding the proposal COM(2022) 655 – Single Permit Directive (recast), on the possibility to not run or accelerate the labour market test ʻwhere the address of the employer is in a region or city which indicated to the Member State's competent authority a labour shortage which cannot be covered by domestic workforceʼ, the Commission recognised (while the competences of local and regional authorities may differ between Member States concerning the identification of labour shortages) that reducing the use of labour market tests for migrants to be employed in sectors clearly facing shortages could contribute to facilitating legal migration procedures. It took note of the proposal of the Committee and will consider taking it into account in when preparing future trilogues with the European Parliament and the Council.
When it comes to policy recommendations, the Commission agreed that integration is often planned centrally but is implemented locally. It pointed out the call for proposals for transnational projects under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, which was launched in January 2023,which has a specific topic on Integration and inclusion at regional and local level. It also agreed that the involvement of local and regional authorities as well as social partners would be crucial for the success of the Talent Partnerships. Finally, it recognised the importance of speeding up the recognition of qualifications of third-country nationals and agreed that a local or regional skills recognition system could complement national and EU efforts.**
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
– acknowledges that legal migrants play a crucial role in Europe's economy and society and can also become agents of development when the right policies are put in place; points out that legal migration is a fundamental driver of cities' growth and contributes to making cities much more diverse and economically vibrant places; points also to the contribution of the high percentage of migrant key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic; stresses the need to strengthen the equal treatment of third-country workers, in particular as regards working conditions, freedom of association and affiliation and social security benefits, as well as the need for greater protection of women's rights and the gender perspective, especially in sectors where migrant women are overrepresented, as well as the need to protect people with disabilities, safeguarding their rights and access to care;
– stresses that local and regional authorities play a vital role in facilitating inclusion of all third-country nationals, independent of their legal status. They often promote diversity and social cohesion through a range of progressive policies that foster trust in local administrations, fair access to shared services, and socio-economic inclusion;
– points out that local and regional authorities are best placed to have a coherent overview of the current and more structural shortages and opportunities in the local labour market and they should therefore be included in multi-level governance of attracting and retaining international talent to respond to the needs of the local labour market;
– emphasises that the needs of the various stakeholders (migrants, the diaspora, local and regional authorities, employers and trade associations) should be taken into account, in order to ensure that the future projects are effective and sustainable as a tool for long-term legal migration management; therefore, calls for a round table to be set up between the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Regions and the European Parliament, the exchanges of which should be based in previous consultations and dialogues with key stakeholders on migrant integration;
– welcomes the support of the European Labour Authority (ELA) in ensuring that the EU rules on labour mobility and social security coordination are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way, including via information provision, concerted and joint inspections, enhanced administrative cooperation, as well as promotion of labour mobility, particularly through EURES.