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European immigration policies

The EESC considers that the new phase of European immigration policy should adopt a strategic approach, with a medium- and long-term vision. It should focus on finding a holistic and comprehensive way of providing legal, open and flexible channels for admission to the EU.

It is the EESC opinion that priority should be given to tackling barriers and discrimination on the labour market. In order to achieve this goal, the EU should adopt a Common European Immigration Code and a Handbook of Common European Guidelines to ensure its implementation and accessibility. This Code should go hand in hand with a European strategy to make the EU more attractive to talent and to tackle barriers relating to qualification.

The EESC recommends the establishment of a permanent European platform for work related immigration and offers its services for this task, to be the place where the social partners discuss and analyse national policies on immigration for employment purposes and where good practices are exchanged.

There is a need for a greater implementation of the principle of solidarity regarding asylum application between Member States. The Dublin Convention should be replaced with a more inclusive system, taking into account the asylum seekers' wishes and ensuring a more proportionate distribution of responsibility among Member States.

Greater shared responsibility should also be at the root of European border policy. The EU should put in place procedures for the provision of financial, operational and reception support for Member States forming the EU's common external territorial border that are facing difficult situations related to migration flows.

The EU should promote an international regulatory framework for migration and play a part in promoting Member States' ratification and implementation of international human rights instruments and standards for migrants.

The EESC recommends that the work on the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility continue, to offer opportunities for immigration for the purposes of employment or education via legal, flexible and transparent procedures to partner countries. Mobility partnerships should be more balanced and also legally binding on the signatories.