EU interior ministers held a meeting on 25 September, part of which concerned the blue card immigration directive. The blue card would provide an all-in-one work and residence permit for highly skilled professionals from outside the European Union.
Applicants would have to be earning 150 percent of the gross average salary in the country they want to live and work in, or 120 percent for jobs for which there is a shortage of skilled labor.
Vice President of the European Commission, Franco Frattini, introduced its proposed blue card immigration program for highly skilled migrants on 23 October 2007 in Strasbourg, France.
The blue card is an attempt to lure migrants who would otherwise go to other destinations such as the US, Canada, or Australia. The European Commission says the EU will require 20 million skilled immigrants over the next 20 years, specifically in the computer technology and engineering sectors.