BCCI surveys the interest of the Bulgarian business community in the EU Blue Card

Some of the official procedures for issuing an "EU Blue Card" are too complicated and the legislative deadlines can be halved provided that there is good collaboration and fast electronic exchange of official information between the responsible institutions. This is the common opinion shared in an express survey conducted by BCCI among its members earlier this month.

The survey shows that among the main difficulties in obtaining an "EU Blue Card" are the slow procedure and the requirement for a lot of documentation, not knowing the procedure, as well as the insufficiently advertised opportunity to work with a "Blue Card" in our country. Employers point out the unfinished process of Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen area as another reason for the insufficient interest in working in Bulgaria by highly qualified employees from third countries, which stops these people from traveling freely in the EU and therefore making them prefer other EU countries.

BCCI, as a nationally representative employers’ organization, continues to insist on reducing the administrative burden on business and on adopting policies that allow flexibility when hiring foreign specialists.

The survey also looked into employers’ expectations regarding the effect of the adopted changes in the regulation of the “EU Blue Card” at European level. As these changes are in line with the Union’s policy of strengthening Europe’s influence in the digital world, the opinion of employers dominates that Bulgaria should not back down from its position as a country with high quality IT and other services.

Bulgarian laws will have to be amended and brought in line with the amendments adopted by the European Commission and the European Parliament to Art. 5 of Council Directive 2009/50/EC of 25 May 2009 halving the minimum period for concluding an employment contract and the gross salary for obtaining a “Blue Card”. These requirements will contribute to the wider access for workers from other countries to the labor market in our country under equal conditions.

These forthcoming legislative changes in the Bulgarian legislation will create an opportunity for a more accessible workforce (by removing the requirement for 150% of the average salary) and thus will improve the conditions for filling the gaps of highly qualified personnel. Bulgarian business hopes that the trend in the coming years will be positive in the growth of “Blue cards” in our country, but this is also related to the admission of our country to the Schengen area.