According to the Lisbon Strategy, the EU aims to become “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth […] by 2010”. This statement was adopted at the European Council summit held in Portugal in March 2000. Ten years later the aim has proven to be too ambitious. Yet, steady economic growth does form the basis of market economies. One way to increase prosperity and enhance economic vitality relates to attracting highly qualified immigrants from abroad. In this respect, the adoption of the EU Blue Card directive in May 2009 demonstrated the EU’s eagerness to compete for global talent. But does the EU Blue Card as it stands offer greater incentive than comparable schemes to attract the brightest minds on a world-wide scale? This policy brief outlines the legal framework of the EU Blue Card and identifies the added value, the ﬂaws and challenges of this initiative.