Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Misty Blue Pt 2

Yesterday I wrote about the EU Blue Card. It was a bit of an experiment in that I simultaneously read about it and wrote about it. I wanted to post my immediate reactions to it because it is rather a dull topic and, bloody heck, this blog needs a bit of life. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed participating in my literary laboratory. Published and be damned does have its disadvantages, though. In this case, I don't think my negativity towards the scheme was strong enough. I've read more about it over the last 24 hours and I am more concerned than ever about life for UK citizens attempting to work in the EU.

What exactly is wrong with the EU Blue Card? I already pointed out yesterday that it doesn't really put card-holders and EU citizens on a level playing field. Today, I shall explore further reasons for Brexit-related despair. This time I come prepared so you can read on safe in the knowledge that I'm not just winging it. How would you tell the difference?

The first real issue with the EU Blue Card is that very few are actually issued. I'm not exactly sure if  the suitability of the applicants, or a general lack of enthusiasm for EU nations to issue the cards. Anyway, there are 25 participating nations and around 5000 issued per year so that works out at an average of 200 per country. Ouch. Let's imagine that Germany issues quite a few of these because it has a large population and a buoyant economy. It is hard to imagine that the number of cards issued for the whole of Deutschland even reaches the thousands. There is certainly no guarantee that an applicant will be guaranteed a card, even one who ticks all the boxes as a highly qualified worker. Ooyah.

What else makes me sad and depressed? I mean specifically about the EU Blue Card, not just war and hunger and global warming. Well, one of the reasons that the number of issued cards is so low is that some countries have an annnual quota.

That's right, you are no longer a citizen of the EU so why would you have the right to live and work there. Quotas never sound good because they mean you either have to plan your applications to the quota calendar or sit in a waiting list, if such a system even exists. To secure working and residence rights in a single EU nation you need to simultaneously get a job and get the card. This reduces your chances of success somewhat.   

I have one final shock. To get your card issued you have to secure a job that could not be adequately be performed by a citizen of the EU

This means that a similarly qualified candidate from the EU can snaffle your dream job, even if you are a better fit. You will only get the job if the employer can argue that they couldn't find an EU citizen to fill the role. Those feelings of despair I had on 24th June seem perfectly rational now.

My impression is that the EU Blue Card is no more than an attempt at setting a standard for the way that EU nations fill vacant STEM positions with staff from outside the EU. If you have some really special skills with a strong market demand you would easily be able to secure a job in the EU with or without the implementation of the Blue Card scheme. The Blue Card bestows very few rights upon the holder. It is only valid for one EU nation at a time. It is time-limited. Each nation makes its own decision about granting or rejecting applications. If I had no other option would I take one? Well, yes, I probably would. If being an EU citizen has an EU-citizenness rating of 1.0 then obtaining an EU Blue Card probably scores about 0.35. That is a lot better than 0.0.

Over and out,


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