EU governments must back social security coordination reform

Trade unions are calling on EU governments to support long overdue improvements to social security coordination needed to protect the rights of some of Europe’s most vulnerable workers.

After 17 rounds of negotiations between the European Parliament and the European Council, an agreement on a revision of the EU regulation on the coordination of social security systems was finally found last Thursday.

The agreement would ensure improvements on the following issues:

  • Prior notification before sending a worker from one Member State to another;
  • Unemployment benefits for workers resident in a different Member State than the competent one;
  • Criteria for the definition of the registered office of employers.

Ahead of a discussion on the deal by the Council’s Coreper I meeting on Wednesday, the ETUC has written to Member States’ ambassadors to urge them to support the “fair and acceptable compromise.”

The letter, sent by ETUC Confederal Secretary Liina Carr, states:

“The compromise reached would guarantee steps forward to better fight against abuses and fraud and to strengthen mobile workers’, posted workers’ and frontier workers’ rights, as well as to improve and operationalise the cooperation between Member States.

“The agreement would also confirm the positive results on the other issues dealt with by the revision and already agreed in March 2019.

“The agreement must be confirmed to guarantee the necessary improvements in the rights and conditions of mobile, posted workers and frontier workers, as well as more effective provisions against fraud.

“More than five years after the publication of the Commission proposal, workers and trade unions ask for this fair solution to be finally confirmed and adopted. Trade unions and workers cannot wait any longer and will be looking closely at the discussions in Coreper on Wednesday.”