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Coordination of Social Security Systems in Europe

The study provides a picture on current developments in the area of social security coordination in the EU

The coordination of social security systems within the EU aims at ensuring that each EU citizen and third country national residing in the EU has fair access to social security regardless, of the country where he or she stays. Social security coordination law has been a fundamental pillar of the free movement of persons since the inception of the European integration process. Envisaged by the 1951 Paris ECSC Treaty, a comprehensive regime of the coordination of national social security systems was established as early as 1958 by the foundational EEC regulations 3 and 4. Since then, EU social security coordination law has co-evolved in tune with the deepening of the integration process as well as with its expansion and the gradual accession of new Member States up to the enlargement in 2004-2007. Currently, coordination rules are provided for by the Regulation (EC) 883/2004 and its Implementing Regulation (EC) 987/2009. Coordination rules do not remove substantive differences between national systems, including the possible negative effects of crossing borders due to different levels and standards of social protection in each country, nor do they compensate for such effects. In a view to modernise and simplify existing rules, as well as guarantee a fair burden sharing of social security costs between Member States, the European Commission presented a proposal of revision to the coordination rules in December 2016 (COM (2016) 815 final). The purpose of this study, commissioned by the European Parliament to FGB,  is to provide Members of the EMPL Committee with an up-todate overview of the social security coordination system in connection with the discussion on the Commission’s Proposal. The study provides a thorough analysis of the limits and challenges of the current coordination system and of the proposed changes by the Commission by means of desk research, and interviews with experts and stakeholders. The evidence is presented in different chapters, each covering one of the areas addressed by the European Commission’s proposal. In each chapter, conclusions and recommendations for the reform at stake are included. Download the full study here.