Proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems and Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2016) 815
Publication Date 17/12/2016
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Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 17 December 2016 seeking to update the European Union's legislation on the coordination of social security systems across the EU. This is a text with relevance to the EEA and Switzerland.

Further information:

Coordination between the social security systems of the Member States becomes necessary as millions of citizens do not live in their home country and there is a need to grant them the social benefits to which they are entitled. Existing Regulations (EC) No 883/2004 and (EC) No 987/2009 were seen as no longer reflecting the changing national social security systems and the case law of the European Court of Justice.

The proposed Regulation modernises rules to facilitate fair labour mobility and cooperation between Member States in terms of social security, while at the same time tackling abuse or fraud. The proposal updates rules in the following areas:

  • Unemployment benefits;
  • Long-term care benefits;
  • Access of economically inactive citizens to social benefits;
  • Social security coordination for posted workers.

The proposal would not modify the existing rules on export of child benefits.

The revision of the rules governing social security coordination was announced in the 2016 Commission Work Programme as part of the Commission's broader efforts to promote free movement of workers. The proposal was adopted by the European Commission on 13 December 2016. The Council of the European Union adopted its general approach to the proposal on 21 June 2018, following a partial agreement on 7 December 2017. The European Parliament's plenary session adopted its own negotiating position on 11 December 2018. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text was reached on 19 March 2019. However, the Parliament decided on 17 April to postpone further endorsement of this draft law until a new parliamentary composition was sworn in.

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Commentary and Analysis
London School of Economics (LSE): EUROPP Blog, 15/12/2016: The case for a European minimum income scheme for jobseekers
EPRS: Briefing, June 2017: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment
EPRS: Briefing, October 2017: Amending social security coordination
EPRS: Briefing, December 2017: Coordination of Social Security Systems in Europe
EurActiv, 04/02/2019: Let’s make posted workers feel really secure

The Local (Austria), 12/12/2016: ‘No cuts’ to child benefits for EU-migrants
Deutsche Welle, 13/12/2016: EU unveils jobless benefits overhaul
EurActiv, 13/12/2016: Thyssen proposes rules to fight ‘populist’ charges of welfare tourism
EurActiv, 13/02/2017: Austrian Chancellor Kern says breakthrough on posted workers ‘decisive’
The Irish Times, 13/12/2016: Brussels set to tighten rules on jobless benefits for EU citizens
The Wall Street Journal, 13/12/2016: European Commission Proposes Tighter Welfare Rules
EurActiv, 12/12/2018: European Parliament brings ‘social Europe’ a step forward
Politico, 29/03/2019: EU countries reject proposal on social security coordination
EurActiv, 19/04/2019: Social security reform postponed until next European Parliament

EUR-LEX: SWD(2016)460: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact assessment
EUR-LEX: SWD(2016)461: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive summary of the impact assessment
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure file on proposal for Coordination of social security systems: benefits (2016/0397(COD))
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Revision of Regulation on social security coordination
European Commission: Press Release, 13/12/2016: Fairness at the heart of Commission's proposal to update EU rules on social security coordination
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 13/12/2016: Questions and Answers on the revision of social security coordination rules
European Commission: Commissioner Thyssen on the Commission's proposal to revise the coordination of social security systems, 13 December 2016
European Commission: Statement, 21/06/2018: Commission welcomes agreement between EU Member States on key files for a more social Europe
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 21/06/2018: Coordination of social security systems: Council agrees general approach
European Commission: Statement, 19/03/2019: Fair labour mobility: Commission welcomes the provisional agreement reached on the modernised rules on social security coordination
European Parliament: Press Release, 20/03/2019: Fairer and clearer rules on social benefits for EU mobile workers agreed
European Parliament: Press Release, 18/04/2019: Next Parliament to decide on social benefits for EU mobile workers
S&D EP Group: Newsroom, 16/12/2021: European Parliament and EU governments close a long-awaited deal on social security coordination benefitting around 14 million Europeans

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