The EU Commission is pushing forward with a directive to implement a skilled immigration "blue card" which would allow migrants from non-EU countries to live and work in the European Union on a temporary basis.
The blue card would grant a work and residence permit to non-EU citizens and would allow them to move to another member state after certain conditions are met. EU blue card holders would also be able to bring family members with them.
Member states are moving forward with implementation of the blue card directive by summer of 2011.
"If we are going to realise our goals in the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU needs to remain open and competitive in the labour market, and we need to create more legal ways for migrants to come to Europe," said Maria senius, chief adviser to EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.
Companies in the EU are having difficulty finding suitable staff to fill specialist positions in sectors such as Information Technology and Engineering. The blue card will help EU employers who need to bring in foreign skilled labour to fill these type of specialist level jobs.
However, the EC was quick to point out that the directive was not just a measure to help businesses.
"We are not making these proposals only to be nice to Indian or American businessmen," senius said. "It is in our interest that companies operating in Europe can have access to the right people with the right skills at the right moment."
She said it was "high time" that the EU starting making itself more attractive to skilled workers from abroad. This will also benefit the EU economy and make EU Countries more competitive in the World.