The transfer of multinational companies workers from outside the EU to the EU should be easier

The Civil Liberties Committee approved a draft law which aims at making easier the transfer of non-EU skilled employees working for multinational companies from a branch outside the EU to a division or subsidiary within the EU. MEPs amended the draft law to make also easier to move transferred workers between EU Member States.

The Civil Liberties Committee at the European Parliament approved a proposal for a new EU directive that would introduce a common set of rules to make it easier for companies outside Europe to send key staff to their branches within the EU (so-called intra-corporate transfers). The new directive would be addressed to non-EU managers, specialists and trainees who reside outside the EU and possess knowledge specific to the company.

MEPs also highlighted that non-EU workers who have been granted an intra-corporate permit in a Member State should be able to work in a branch belonging to the same group of companies located in another EU country and also at the sites of clients. According to the amendment introduced by MEPs, transfers to other EU countries should not exceed half of the overall duration of the intra-corporate permit. On the other hand, MEPs expect that Member States would have to process requests for relatives at the same time as applications for intra-corporate transfers.

The total number of intra-corporate transferred each year in the EU is about 16,500, accounting for 4% of temporary migrant workers, according to the Commission's estimations. The legislative proposal on intra-corporate transfers is part of a legal migration package, which was presented in 2011, together with the seasonal workers directive, which is also currently under discussion in the Civil Liberties Committee.