EPC Debates Non-EU Skilled Worker Transfers

BY CCIA Staff
January 19, 2011

In July 2010 the European Commission proposed a new Directive for the “Intra-Corporate Temporary Transfer of Non-EU Skilled Workers”. The proposal’s aim is to facilitate for multinational companies the temporary transfer of third-country national skilled workers from a company located outside the EU to branches or subsidiaries within the EU.

The European Policy Centre (EPC), an independent, not-for-profit think tank committed to European integration, organized a policy dialogue on 11th January 2011. The panel was composed of Maria Åsenius, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Malmström, Ameet Nivsakar, Vice President of NASSCOM, John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Jan Mulder, Member of European Parliament, and Karl Cox, Vice President of Oracle responsible for public policy and corporate affairs. The panel debate was moderated by Erika Mann (Executive Vice President CCIA) in her role as Vice President of the EPC’s Advisory Council.

Ms. Åsenius outlined the political and economic background of the Commission’s proposal. In the light of Europe’s increasing demand for skilled workers and its negative demographic development, the proposed Directive is seen as a positive step in facing these challenges and in meeting the goals of the EU’s 2020 Strategy.

The Commission’s proposal was well received by industry representatives. By highlighting the bureaucratic hurdles multinational companies face when they wish to transfer their staff from countries outside the EU to their EU-based establishments, they applauded the Commission’s aim to reduce these obstacles.

The proposal was welcomed by MEP Jan Mulder (Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) who is the shadow rapporteur (a shadow rapporteur is an MEP who works on behalf of his political group for a specific committee for a specific subject) for this initiative.The lead rapporteur is Salvatore Iacolino, he will very likely present a draft report in the first half of 2011 as the European Parliament and the Member States are expected to discuss the proposal within this timeframe.

John Monks for ETUC criticized the broad scope of the proposal and pointed to problems that could arise from the employee definitions, the alleged lack of appropriate control-mechanisms and he thinks that the Blue Card scheme adopted in 2009 should provide sufficient mechanisms for intra-corporate employee transfers.

The Commission’s decision to opt for a Directive, as opposed to a Regulation, was generally considered as appropriate although a Regulation would provide for greater harmony across the 27 EU-Member States. Member States will be responsible for the setting of national quotas, which will automatically lead to very different levels of quotas. By the way, a Regulation, which is directly applicable in the Member States and does not require any implementing measures, would most likely not find sufficient support.

The Commission’s aim in bringing out a new Directive is to lay down a common set of rules and procedures to be followed by Member States as soon as they allow the entry of third country nationals.

The Commission’s initiative on intra-corporate transferees is to be seen separately from the discussion which takes place inside the Free Trade Agreement negotiating process between the EU and India.

It is important for policymakers, whether in the EU or in the U.S., to understand how the new global economy necessitates the timely movement of labor across borders, and to take action to facilitate companies’ ability to compete and innovate in such an environment.

Related Articles

German Legislature Preempts EU Reforms with National Competition Law Amendments Targeting the Digital Economy

Jan 14, 2021

Berlin, GERMANY — Members of the German parliament voted to approve far-reaching regulations for large digital platforms today. Once signed into law, the proposal would make Germany the first jurisdiction in the EU specifically regulating market power in the digital economy. The reform introduces article 19a in the German “Act against Restraints of Competition,” setting…

New EU Cybersecurity Rules Should Promote Security Mitigation, Avoid Compliance Red Tape

Dec 16, 2020

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission published today a legislative proposal to update the 2016 Network and Information Security Directive.  The proposal aims to reduce regulatory inconsistencies across the EU’s internal market and it encourages security information sharing to help companies effectively address future cybersecurity risks. But the proposal also suggests that cloud computing providers,…

CCIA Responses To EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act Proposals

Dec 15, 2020

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission presented its Digital Markets Act (DMA) and its Digital Services Act (DSA) proposals earlier today. The Digital Markets Act seeks to target the core services of so-called digital “gatekeepers” by restructuring their relationships with business users and imposing new terms and obligations. These obligations can be updated, new services…