EU Politics on Labour Migration: Inclusion versus Admission

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Two European Union (EU) directives on labour migration were adopted in 2009 and 2011. The EU scheme to attract highly qualified migrants, the so-called ‘Blue Card’ directive of 2009, allows member states broad flexibility in implementation. In contrast, the directive on a single permit for migrant workers and their rights of 2011 is far less flexible. It does significantly reduce the scope for derogations at a national level to a minimum. How can this variance in output be explained? Institutional rules are shown to be a key factor. The involvement of the European Parliament as co-legislator alongside the Council limited member states’ influence on legal outputs. The comparison of policy outputs between the two cases points to differences in actor orientations: rather than seeking to increase labour migration into the EU by defining expansive admission conditions, the common EU policy seeks to include migrant workers by defining their rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-553
Number of pages21
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


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