Brussels issues warning over residence permits

The European Commission on Thursday gave Greece a two-month ultimatum to adopt a directive on a single application procedure for a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work inside the European Union.

The procedure, which Greece ought to have implemented by 2013, aims to simplify the procedures for the admission of third-country nationals and to facilitate monitoring of their status.

The directive also foresees a common set of rights for third-country workers legally residing in a member state.

Athens has failed to act on a Commission warning issued in January. Failure to meet the fresh deadline may prompt the EU to refer Greece to the European Court of Justice.