>French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been calling for a European 'Pact on Immigration and Asylum' ever since his election campaign in spring 2007. Indeed, migration is a priority of the French EU Presidency.
The proposed pact seeks to integrate and complement the efforts made by the EU institutions to shape a common European approach to both legal and illegal migration.
As part of those efforts, the European Commission recently introduced a proposal for a European 'Blue Card' for skilled immigrants (see EurActiv's Links Dossier) as well as a 'Return Directive' (see EurActiv's Links Dossier) setting EU-wide standards for sending illegal immigrants back home. The adoption of the directive, although vehemently criticised by human rights NGOs and Latin American countries, highlighted how reform of migration policies is gaining momentum within the European Parliament as well as among the 27 member states.