what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Single application procedure for a single permit to reside and work

People from third countries who wish to enter the EU with a view to working and residing in the Union have to ask to be admitted to a single Member State.

As things stand, applicants then have to apply for additional residence and work permits, if they want to work in other Member States. Since in practice it is not always clear where to apply for which permit, this state of affairs created legal insecurity for the applicants.

The new Directive facilitates the process by merging both procedures into an application for a single permit, thus cutting red tape and saving non-EU professionals from being sent back to their home countries.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe that facilitating applications for work and residence permits is beneficial for the EU and its Member States.

We also advocate the equal treatment of workers under the single permit regarding their work conditions, pay and other labour rights.

Any other approach would be unfair and could risk undermining European social standards.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

Teaming up with the S&D and GUE, the Greens succeeded in retaining several key provisions on equal treatment and labour rights in the adopted text.

However, a compromise with the EPP entailed narrowing down the scope of the text, with the result that several groups of workers were excluded, including seasonal workers, posted workers, seafaring workers and all refugees.


Which points did the Greens lose?

Together with the other progressive groups in Parliament, the Greens were unable to maintain a strong position during the negotiations with the Council.

In particular, the ALDE rapporteur caved in to almost all demands made by Member States. This resulted in the loss of many of the positive elements on which Parliament had agreed.

The EPP helped to undermine Parliament's position, especially with respect to social security, unemployment benefits and taking pensions back home.

Press & Events

Procedure:Ordinary legislative procedure


Lead MEP:Véronique Mathieu Houillon (EPP)

Green MEP responsible:Jean Lambert


Staff contact:Christine Sidenius (Email)
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