Written by Jan Tymowski
According to the report of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) there are around 10.5 million migrant workers in the EU , one million people crossing EU borders for work every day and about 250,000 people who have worked in more than one Member State and need to export a part of their pension rights every year.
The way social security is organised differs among European countries, since every Member State remains free to design its social security system independently. European rules determine however under which country’s system a person should be insured when two or more countries are involved – for instance, if that person lives or works abroad in the EU. In principle, social security coverage must be ensured by the country of employment and for economically non-active EU citizens – by the country of residence.
The complex system of EU rules on social security coordination has a long history of contributing to the labour mobility in Europe and requires intensive cooperation between the Member States’ authorities. Numerous provisions are subject to problems in implementation, or rather their application in specific cases continues to raise controversies. The opportunity of proposing a legislative revision within a broader package on citizens’ and workers’ rights would provide the occasion for improvements to the rules.