Enhanced coordination of social security systems: more flexibility and clarity for EU mobile workers

On 20 November 2018, the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (“EMPL”) adopted modernised rules for coordinating social security systems. The EMPL focused on facilitating labour mobility while safeguarding the workers’ social security rights in cross-border situations, by determining under which Member State’ s system a person is insured. The purpose of the new rules is to make it easier for EU citizens to work in another EU Member State and to have a fair access to social security benefits.

The social security coordination is based on the basic principles that (i) EU citizens shall be subject to one national social security system and shall pay contributions only in one country, (ii) the foreign EU citizens shall have the same rights and obligations as the nationals of the country where they are insured, and (iii) insurance periods competed in different EU countries shall be accumulated when grating benefits. As a new provision, the EMPL agreed that an insured person could retain unemployment benefits for six months after leaving a Member State and this Member State would be able to prolong the period until the benefit expires. The EMPL also proposed that job seekers should be able to choose whether to receive unemployment benefits from the last country the worked in, or the country they live in. The EMPL also adopted provisions to avoid protection gaps and establish legal clarity and transparency for long-term care benefits.

The final form of the rules will be decided during the negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission.

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