Council Directive 2005/71/EC of 12 October 2005 on a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purposes of scientific research

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 63(3)(a) and (4) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament [1],

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee [2],

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions [3]

Whereas:

(1) With a view to consolidating and giving structure to European research policy, the Commission considered it necessary in January 2000 to establish the European Research Area as the lynchpin of the Community’s future action in this field.

(2) Endorsing the European Research Area, the Lisbon European Council in March 2000 set the Community the objective of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010.

(3) The globalisation of the economy calls for greater mobility of researchers, something which was recognised by the sixth framework programme of the European Community [4], when it opened up its programmes further to researchers from outside the European Union.

(4) The number of researchers which the Community will need by 2010 to meet the target set by the Barcelona European Council in March 2002 of 3 % of GDP invested in research is estimated at 700000. This target is to be met through a series of interlocking measures, such as making scientific careers more attractive to young people, promoting women’s involvement in scientific research, extending the opportunities for training and mobility in research, improving career prospects for researchers in the Community and opening up the Community to third-country nationals who might be admitted for the purposes of research.

(5) This Directive is intended to contribute to achieving these goals by fostering the admission and mobility for research purposes of third-country nationals for stays of more than three months, in order to make the Community more attractive to researchers from around the world and to boost its position as an international centre for research.

(6) Implementation of this Directive should not encourage a brain drain from emerging or developing countries. Back-up measures to support researchers’ reintegration into their countries of origin as well as the movement of researchers should be taken in partnership with the countries of origin with a view to establishing a comprehensive migration policy.

(7) For the achievement of the objectives of the Lisbon process it is also important to foster the mobility within the Union of researchers who are EU citizens, and in particular researchers from the Member States which acceded in 2004, for the purpose of carrying out scientific research.

(8) Given the openness imposed by changes in the world economy and the likely requirements to meet the 3 % of GDP target for investment in research, third-country researchers potentially eligible under this Directive should be defined broadly in accordance with their qualifications and the research project which they intend to carry out.

(9) As the effort to be made to achieve the said 3 % target largely concerns the private sector, which must therefore recruit more researchers in the years to come, the research organisations potentially eligible under this Directive belong to both the public and private sectors.

(10) Each Member State should ensure that the most comprehensive information possible, regularly kept up to date, is made publicly available, via the Internet in particular, on the research organisations, approved under this Directive, with which researchers could conclude a hosting agreement, and on the conditions and procedures for entry and residence on its territory for the purposes of carrying out research, as adopted under this Directive.

(11) It is appropriate to facilitate the admission of researchers by establishing an admission procedure which does not depend on their legal relationship with the host research organisation and by no longer requiring a work permit in addition to a residence permit. Member States could apply similar rules for third-country nationals requesting admission for the purposes of teaching in a higher education establishment in accordance with national legislation or administrative practice, in the context of a research project.

(12) At the same time, the traditional avenues of admission (such as employment and traineeship) should be maintained, especially for doctoral students carrying out research as students, who should be excluded from the scope of this Directive and are covered by Council Directive 2004/114/EC of 13 December 2004 on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service [5].

(13) The specific procedure for researchers is based on collaboration between the research organisations and the immigration authorities in the Member States: it gives the former a key role in the admission procedure with a view to facilitating and speeding up the entry and residence of third-country researchers in the Community while preserving Member States’ prerogatives with respect to immigration policing.

(14) Research organisations approved in advance by the Member States should be able to sign a hosting agreement with a third-country national for the purposes of carrying out a research project. Member States will issue a residence permit on the basis of the hosting agreement if the conditions for entry and residence are met.

(15) In order to make the Community more attractive to third-country researchers, they should be granted, during their stay, equal social and economic rights with nationals of the host Member State in a number of areas and the possibility to teach in higher education establishments.

(16) This Directive adds a very important improvement in the field of social security as the non-discrimination principle also applies directly to persons coming to a Member State directly from a third country. Nevertheless, this Directive should not confer more rights than those already provided in existing Community legislation in the field of social security for third-country nationals who have cross-border elements between Member States. This Directive furthermore should not grant rights in relation to situations which lie outside the scope of Community legislation like for example family members residing in a third country.

(17) It is important to foster the mobility of third-country nationals admitted for the purposes of carrying out scientific research as a means of developing and consolidating contacts and networks between partners and establishing the role of the European Research Area at world level. Researchers should be able to exercise mobility under the conditions established by this Directive. The conditions for exercising mobility under this Directive should not affect the rules currently governing recognition of the validity of the travel documents.

(18) Special attention should be paid to the facilitation and support of the preservation of the unity of family members of the researchers, according to the Council Recommendation of 12 October 2005 to facilitate the admission of third-country nationals to carry out scientific research in the European Community [6].

(19) In order to preserve family unity and to enable mobility, family members should be able to join the researcher in another Member State under the conditions determined by the national law of such Member State, including its obligations arising from bilateral or multilateral agreements.

(20) Holders of residence permits should be in principle allowed to submit an application for admission while remaining on the territory of the Member State concerned.

(21) Member States should have the right to charge applicants for the processing of applications for residence permits.

(22) This Directive should not affect in any circumstances the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002 of 13 June 2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals [7].

(23) The objectives of this Directive, namely the introduction of a special admission procedure and the adoption of conditions of entry and residence applicable to third-country nationals for stays of more than three months in the Member States for the purposes of conducting a research project under a hosting agreement with a research organisation, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, especially as regards ensuring mobility between Member States, and can therefore be better achieved by the Community. The Community is therefore entitled to take measures in accordance with the subsidiarity principle laid down in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality set out in that article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve those objectives.

(24) Member States should give effect to the provisions of this Directive without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic characteristics, language, religion or beliefs, political or other opinions, membership of a national minority, fortune, birth, disabilities, age or sexual orientation.

(25) This Directive respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

(26) In accordance with paragraph 34 of the Interinstitutional agreement on better law-making, Member States will be encouraged to draw up, for themselves and in the interest of the Community, their own tables, which will, as far as possible, illustrate the correlation between this Directive and the transposition measures, and to make them public.

(27) In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, Ireland has given notice by letter of 1 July 2004 of its wish to participate in the adoption and application of this Directive.

(28) In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, and without prejudice to Article 4 of the said Protocol, the United Kingdom is not participating in the adoption of this Directive and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(29) In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark does not take part in the adoption of this Directive, and is not bound by it or subject to its application,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Purpose

This Directive lays down the conditions for the admission of third-country researchers to the Member States for more than three months for the purposes of carrying out a research project under hosting agreements with research organisations.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Directive:

(a) "third-country national" means any person who is not a Union citizen within the meaning of Article 17(1) of the Treaty;

(b) "research" means creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications;

(c) "research organisation" means any public or private organisations which conducts research and which has been approved for the purposes of this Directive by a Member State in accordance with the latter's legislation or administrative practice;

(d) "researcher" means a third-country national holding an appropriate higher education qualification, which gives access to doctoral programmes, who is selected by a research organisation for carrying out a research project for which the above qualification is normally required;

(e) "residence permit" means any authorisation bearing the term "researcher" issued by the authorities of a Member State allowing a third-country national to stay legally on its territory, in accordance with Article 1(2)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002.

Article 3

Scope

1. This Directive shall apply to third-country nationals who apply to be admitted to the territory of a Member State for the purpose of carrying out a research project.

2. This Directive shall not apply to:

(a) third-country nationals staying in a Member State as applicants for international protection or under temporary protection schemes;

(b) third-country nationals applying to reside in a Member State as students within the meaning of Directive 2004/114/EC in order to carry out research leading to a doctoral degree;

(c) third-country nationals whose expulsion has been suspended for reasons of fact or law;

(d) researchers seconded by a research organisation to another research organisation in another Member State.

Article 4

More favourable provisions

1. This Directive shall be without prejudice to more favourable provisions of:

(a) bilateral or multilateral agreements concluded between the Community or between the Community and its Member States on the one hand and one or more third countries on the other;

(b) bilateral or multilateral agreements concluded between one or more Member States and one or more third countries.

2. This Directive shall not affect the right of Member States to adopt or retain more favourable provisions for persons to whom it applies.

CHAPTER II

RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS

Article 5

Approval

1. Any research organisation wishing to host a researcher under the admission procedure laid down in this Directive shall first be approved for that purpose by the Member State concerned.

2. The approval of the research organisations shall be in accordance with procedures set out in the national law or administrative practice of the Member States. Applications for approval by both public and private organisations shall be made in accordance with those procedures and be based on their statutory tasks or corporate purposes as appropriate and on proof that they conduct research.

The approval granted to a research organisation shall be for a minimum period of five years. In exceptional cases, Member States may grant approval for a shorter period.

3. Member States may require, in accordance with national legislation, a written undertaking of the research organisation that in cases where a researcher remains illegally in the territory of the Member State concerned, the said organisation is responsible for reimbursing the costs related to his/her stay and return incurred by public funds. The financial responsibility of the research organisation shall end at the latest six months after the termination of the hosting agreement.

4. Member States may provide that, within two months of the date of expiry of the hosting agreement concerned, the approved organisation shall provide the competent authorities designated for the purpose by the Member States with confirmation that the work has been carried out for each of the research projects in respect of which a hosting agreement has been signed pursuant to Article 6.

5. The competent authorities in each Member State shall publish and update regularly lists of the research organisations approved for the purposes of this Directive.

6. A Member State may, among other measures, refuse to renew or decide to withdraw the approval of a research organisation which no longer meets the conditions laid down in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 or in cases where the approval has been fraudulently acquired or where a research organisation has signed a hosting agreement with a third-country national fraudulently or negligently. Where approval has been refused or withdrawn, the organisation concerned may be banned from reapplying for approval up to five years from the date of publication of the decision on withdrawal or non-renewal.

7. Member States may determine in their national legislation the consequences of the withdrawal of the approval or refusal to renew the approval for the existing hosting agreements, concluded in accordance with Article 6, as well as the consequences for the residence permits of the researchers concerned.

Article 6

Hosting agreement

1. A research organisation wishing to host a researcher shall sign a hosting agreement with the latter whereby the researcher undertakes to complete the research project and the organisation undertakes to host the researcher for that purpose without prejudice to Article 7.

2. Research organisations may sign hosting agreements only if the following conditions are met:

(a) the research project has been accepted by the relevant authorities in the organisation, after examination of:

(i) the purpose and duration of the research, and the availability of the necessary financial resources for it to be carried out;

(ii) the researcher’s qualifications in the light of the research objectives, as evidenced by a certified copy of his/her qualification in accordance with Article 2(d);

(b) during his/her stay the researcher has sufficient monthly resources to meet his/her expenses and return travel costs in accordance with the minimum amount published for the purpose by the Member State, without having recourse to the Member State’s social assistance system;

(c) during his/her stay the researcher has sickness insurance for all the risks normally covered for nationals of the Member State concerned;

(d) the hosting agreement specifies the legal relationship and working conditions of the researchers.

3. Once the hosting agreement is signed, the research organisation may be required, in accordance with national legislation, to provide the researcher with an individual statement that for costs within the meaning of Article 5(3) financial responsibility has been assumed.

4. The hosting agreement shall automatically lapse when the researcher is not admitted or when the legal relationship between the researcher and the research organisation is terminated.

5. Research organisations shall promptly inform the authority designated for the purpose by the Member States of any occurrence likely to prevent implementation of the hosting agreement.

CHAPTER III

ADMISSION OF RESEARCHERS

Article 7

Conditions for admission

1. A third-country national who applies to be admitted for the purposes set out in this Directive shall:

(a) present a valid travel document, as determined by national law. Member States may require the period of the validity of the travel document to cover at least the duration of the residence permit;

(b) present a hosting agreement signed with a research organisation in accordance with Article 6(2);

(c) where appropriate, present a statement of financial responsibility issued by the research organisation in accordance with Article 6(3); and

(d) not be considered to pose a threat to public policy, public security or public health.

Member States shall check that all the conditions referred to in points (a), (b), (c) and (d) are met.

2. Member States may also check the terms upon which the hosting agreement has been based and concluded.

3. Once the checks referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 have been positively concluded, researchers shall be admitted on the territory of the Member States to carry out the hosting agreement.

Article 8

Duration of residence permit

Member States shall issue a residence permit for a period of at least one year and shall renew it if the conditions laid down in Articles 6 and 7 are still met. If the research project is scheduled to last less than one year, the residence permit shall be issued for the duration of the project.

Article 9

Family members

1. When a Member State decides to grant a residence permit to the family members of a researcher, the duration of validity of their residence permit shall be the same as that of the residence permit issued to the researcher insofar as the period of validity of their travel documents allows it. In duly justified cases, the duration of the residence permit of the family member of the researcher may be shortened.

2. The issue of the residence permit to the family members of the researcher admitted to a Member State shall not be made dependent on the requirement of a minimum period of residence of the researcher.

Article 10

Withdrawal or non-renewal of the residence permit

1. Member States may withdraw or refuse to renew a residence permit issued on the basis of this Directive when it has been fraudulently acquired or wherever it appears that the holder did not meet or no longer meets the conditions for entry and residence provided by Articles 6 and 7 or is residing for purposes other that that for which he was authorised to reside.

2. Member States may withdraw or refuse to renew a residence permit for reasons of public policy, public security or public health.

CHAPTER IV

RESEARCHERS’ RIGHTS

Article 11

Teaching

1. Researchers admitted under this Directive may teach in accordance with national legislation.

2. Member States may set a maximum number of hours or of days for the activity of teaching.

Article 12

Equal treatment

Holders of a residence permit shall be entitled to equal treatment with nationals as regards:

(a) recognition of diplomas, certificates and other professional qualifications in accordance with the relevant national procedures;

(b) working conditions, including pay and dismissal;

(c) branches of social security as defined in Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of 14 June 1971 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community [8]. The special provisions in the Annex to Council Regulation (EC) No 859/2003 of 14 May 2003 extending the provisions of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 and Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 to nationals of third countries who are not already covered by these provisions solely on the ground of their nationality [9] shall apply accordingly;

(d) tax benefits;

(e) access to goods and services and the supply of goods and services made available to the public.

Article 13

Mobility between Member States

1. A third-country national who has been admitted as a researcher under this Directive shall be allowed to carry out part of his/her research in another Member State under the conditions as set out in this Article.

2. If the researcher stays in another Member State for a period of up to three months, the research may be carried out on the basis of the hosting agreement concluded in the first Member State, provided that he has sufficient resources in the other Member State and is not considered as a threat to public policy, public security or public health in the second Member State.

3. If the researcher stays in another Member State for more than three months, Member States may require a new hosting agreement to carry out the research in that Member State. At all events, the conditions set out in Articles 6 and 7 shall be met in relation to the Member State concerned.

4. Where the relevant legislation provides for the requirement of a visa or a residence permit, for exercising mobility, such a visa or permit shall be granted in a timely manner within a period that does not hamper the pursuit of the research, whilst leaving the competent authorities sufficient time to process the applications.

5. Member States shall not require the researcher to leave their territory in order to submit applications for the visas or residence permits.

CHAPTER V

PROCEDURE AND TRANSPARENCY

Article 14

Applications for admission

1. Member States shall determine whether applications for residence permits are to be made by the researcher or by the research organisation concerned.

2. The application shall be considered and examined when the third-country national concerned is residing outside the territory of the Member States to which he/she wishes to be admitted.

3. Member States may accept, in accordance with their national legislation, an application submitted when the third-country national concerned is already in their territory.

4. The Member State concerned shall grant the third-country national who has submitted an application and who meets the conditions of Articles 6 and 7 every facility to obtain the requisite visas.

Article 15

Procedural safeguards

1. The competent authorities of the Member States shall adopt a decision on the complete application as soon as possible and, where appropriate, provide for accelerated procedures.

2. If the information supplied in support of the application is inadequate, the consideration of the application may be suspended and the competent authorities shall inform the applicant of any further information they need.

3. Any decision rejecting an application for a residence permit shall be notified to the third-country national concerned in accordance with the notification procedures under the relevant national legislation. The notification shall specify the possible redress procedures available and the time limit for taking action.

4. Where an application is rejected, or a residence permit, issued in accordance with this Directive, is withdrawn, the person concerned shall have the right to mount a legal challenge before the authorities of the Member State concerned.

CHAPTER VI

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 16

Reports

Periodically, and for the first time no later than three years after the entry into force of this Directive, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive in the Member States and shall propose any amendments that are necessary.

Article 17

Transposition

1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 12 October 2007.

When Member States adopt these measures, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or shall be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. The methods of making such reference shall be laid down by Member States.

2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive.

Article 18

Transitional provision

By way of derogation from the provisions set out in Chapter III, Member States shall not be obliged to issue permits in accordance with this Directive in the form of a residence permit for a period of up to two years, after the date referred to in Article 17(1).

Article 19

Common Travel Area

Nothing in this Directive shall affect the right of Ireland to maintain the Common Travel Area arrangements referred to in the Protocol, annexed by the Treaty of Amsterdam to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, on the application of certain aspects of Article 14 of the Treaty establishing the European Community to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Article 20

Entry into force

This Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Article 21

Addressees

This Directive is addressed to the Member States in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Done at Luxembourg, 12 October 2005.

For the Council

The President

C. Clarke

[1] Opinion of 12 April 2005 (not yet published in the Official Journal).

[2] OJ C 120, 20.5.2005, p. 60.

[3] OJ C 71, 22.3.2005, p. 6.

[4] Decision No 1513/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 concerning the sixth framework programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities, contributing to the creation of the European Research Area and to innovation (2002 to 2006) (OJ L 232, 29.8.2002, p. 1). Decision amended by Decision No 786/2004/EC (OJ L 138, 30.4.2004, p. 7).

[5] OJ L 375, 23.12.2004, p. 12.

[6] See page 26 of this Official Journal.

[7] OJ L 157, 15.6.2002, p. 1.

[8] OJ L 149, 5.7.1971, p. 2. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 647/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 117, 4.5.2005, p. 1).

[9] OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p. 1.

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