• EU Blue Card: More flexible criteria for highly qualified immigrants admitted

      EU Blue Card: More flexible criteria for highly qualified immigrants admitted

      MEPs on Wednesday adopted the reform of the EU Blue Card to facilitate the employment of highly qualified non-EU nationals and help alleviate labour shortages in key sectors, EP Press service reported. The Blue Card Directive, in place since late 2009, defines the conditions of entry and residence that third country nationals (and their family members) must meet to take up highly qualified employment in the member states. However, the scheme has not attracted enough of these much-needed workers, with only 36 806 Blue Cards issued in the EU in 2019 (and Germany issuing most of them).

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    • EU's chief executive warns against 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'

      EU's chief executive warns against 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'

      The pace of vaccination against Covid-19 must be quickened to avert "a pandemic of the unvaccinated", the European Union's chief executive said on Wednesday, also urging countries around the globe to step up the fight against climate change, Reuters reported. Ursula von der Leyen's second 'state of the union' address since she took over as European Commission president comes after two years that have tested the resilience of the bloc with the coronavirus pandemic, a sharp economic downturn, strains over Brexit and the rule of law in eastern member states.

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    • MEPs: Same-sex marriages and partnerships should be recognised across the EU

      MEPs: Same-sex marriages and partnerships should be recognised across the EU

      The EU should lift all obstacles facing LGBTIQ people when exercising their basic rights, MEPs say on Tuesday, EP Press service reported. In a resolution on the rights of LGBTIQ persons in the EU (adopted with 387 votes in favour, 161 against and 123 abstaining), the European Parliament emphasises that these citizens should be able to fully exercise their rights, including the right to free movement, everywhere in the Union. The resolution states that marriages or registered partnerships formed in one member state should be recognised in all of them in a uniform way, and same-sex spouses and partners should be treated the same as their opposite-sex counterparts.

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    • Conference on the Future of Europe: European Citizens’ Panels set to start

      Conference on the Future of Europe: European Citizens’ Panels set to start

      The European Citizens’ Panels will kick off their deliberations with the first 200-citizen meeting between 17 and 19 September in Strasbourg, EP Press service reported. The first sessions of all four Panels will take place on Parliament’s premises in Strasbourg and begin working on draft recommendations within each Panel’s remit. This first European Citizens’ Panel will focus on a stronger economy, social justice, jobs/education, youth, culture, and sport/digital transformation, based on citizens’ contributions collected from across Europe on the Multilingual Digital Platform, as well as support and presentations from prominent academics.

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    • EP to co-host a high-level Global State of Human Rights conference

      EP to co-host a high-level Global State of Human Rights conference

      On 16 July, Parliament will co-host the first-ever Global State of Human Rights conference to discuss the state of human rights internationally, EP Press service reported on Monday. The conference will bring together MEPs, European Commissioners, Nobel Peace Prize recipients, Sakharov Prize laureates, representatives of international organisations, academia and stakeholders. They will discuss a variety of topics related to the global situation for human rights across three main panels. The conference is jointly organised by the European Parliament and the Global Campus of Human Rights.

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    • MEPs call for return to borderless Schengen area and reform of Border Code

      MEPs call for return to borderless Schengen area and reform of Border Code

      MEPs call for the restoration of free movement within the Schengen area, which has been disrupted by border controls, most recently because of the Covid-19 crisis. The European Parliament argues that member states should swiftly restore free movement in the Schengen area in its newly adopted Schengen report (505 votes in favour, 134 against and 54 abstentions), EP Press service reported on Thursday.

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