Press Conference, European Commission, Science and technology, Culture, education and youth
Every year, hundreds of thousands of foreign students and researchers are coming to Europe. This global mobility contributes to economic competitiveness and fosters the generation and acquisition of knowledge, skills and ideas.
However, foreign students and researchers are often faced with complex and unclear admission rules and procedures. To make Europe a more attractive destination for research and innovation, the Commission will propose to improve the current rules and conditions for third country national students, researchers and other groups, such as school pupils, trainees, volunteers and au pairs, to enter and stay in the EU.
The current EU framework consists of:
- Directive 2004/114/EC, which establishes common rules of admission for non EU nationals to an EU Member State for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service.
- Directive 2005/71/EC, which sets a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for more than three months for the purpose of scientific research.
A number of problems have been identified in the 'Students' and 'Researchers' Directives, which have been unevenly implemented across Member States.
The Commission will propose to improve those rules by addressing a number of weaknesses it had identified in 2011 (report on the 'Students Directive' and report on the 'Researchers Directive'). These concern mainly admission conditions, rights, procedural safeguards, students' access to the labour market during studies, intra-EU mobility provisions as well as a lack of harmonization, as coverage of some groups, such as volunteers, school pupils and unremunerated trainees was left optional to Member States.
12.30 Press conference by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs.
IP and MEMO will be available on the day.