European Migration and Diversity

Immigration, Integration and Asylum Forum


EU Single Permit Directive: a small step forward in EU migration policy

24 January 2012
Sheena McLoughlin (External authors) and Yves Pascouau (Senior Adviser to EPC on migration and mobility policies)



After four years of lengthy negotiations, which spanned a Treaty change and the empowerment of the European Parliament as co-legislator, the EU’s ‘Single Permit Directive’ (Directive 2011/98/EU) was finally adopted and published in the Official Journal. The Directive establishes a single application procedure for single permits for third-country nationals to reside and work in the territory of an EU Member State, and a common set of rights for third-country workers legally residing in a Member State. At a time when discussions on migration and legal migration issues are ongoing in the European Parliament and the Council, Yves Pascouau with Sheena McLoughlin show in their policy brief that the “EU Single Permit Directive” merely constitutes a small step forward in EU migration policy. Although the adoption of a new text can be seen as a success, it fails to generate much enthusiasm as it remains narrow in its scope and content, and does not further enhance harmonisation.

EU Single Permit Directive: a small step forward in EU migration policy

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