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ESU welcomes a European Parliament’s decision affecting non-EU students

BRUSSELS – The European Students’ Union (ESU) welcomes the European Parliament’s agreement on making an amendment to a proposal for a directive on the conditions of entry and residency of third-country nationals for the purpose of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing.

This change is highly favourable to us because it improves student mobility and removes the limitations that were placed on students coming from third-countries, for example in relation to them being able to work alongside their studies, which sadly is very much needed in some cases. Barriers for getting the visa and restrictions for accessing the labour market have been obstacles to third-country nationals that want to seek studies in the European Union and this amendment facilities their entry,” says Fernando Miguel Galán Palomares, Vice-Chairperson of ESU.

A big majority of the European Parliament voted in favour of the proposal on 25 February, following a debate on a report submitted by Cecilla Wikström, from the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee.

ESU urges the European Council to support the changes

Although the European Parliament has agreed on making these changes to the original proposal, it still needs to be discussed by the European Council, where the Member States of the European Union will have their say. Following those discussions, the proposal may therefore see further changes.

We hope that the European Council will support the position of the European Parliament and move in the same direction, to make it easier for third-country nationals to study in Member States of the European Union. This also supports aims at building a common European Higher Education Area, which stretches far beyond the external borders of the European Union, as 19 EHEA countries are non-EU member states. Those policies must resemble the reality of higher education in Europe and contribute to the further progress of this development,” says Galán Palomares.

The proposal has the overall aim to improve the provisions of third-country nationals that come to the European Union for the purpose of study, volunteer work or research. In this proposal, remunerated trainees and au-pairs will also be included. It is supposed to support social, cultural and economic relationships between the European Union and third-countries, for example by facilitating visa procedures and applying equal treatments.

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For more information, please contact:

Fernando Miguel Galán Palomares, ESU Vice-Chairperson: +32/473.669.892 // or Robert Hlynur Baldursson, ESU Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 //

The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit ESU celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012.


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