The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs agreed on January 21 to adopt a report by Klaus-Heiner Lehne (EPP, Germany) on the draft Convention on rules for the admission of non-EU nationals to EU Member States. The Committee believes the EU must adopt a global approach to immigration and is therefore championing the overall strategy initiated by the EU Austrian Presidency.

First of all, the Convention lays down common rules on the initial admission of non-EU nationals to a Member State for the purposes of paid employment, pursuing an independent economic activity, study and vocational training, non-profit-making activities and family reunification. Then, it establishes basic rights for non-EU nationals who are long-term residents, including provisions on the possibility of accepting employment in another Member State. The committee advocates granting non-EU nationals free access to the labour market and the right to practice an independent economic activity, provided they have pursued such an activity for at least five years.

As regards admission for the purposes of study or vocational training, the Committee believes Member States should be allowed to require non-EU nationals to...

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