On 12 April 2017, the EUD attended the public hearing at the European Parliament organised by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs during which the European Commission’s new proposal on coordination of social security systems was discussed. 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 EU provides rules to coordinate national social security systems and ensure social security protection when a person moves within Europe (EU28, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The rules only provide for the coordination of social security systems to determine which system a mobile citizen is subject to. The rules prevent a person from being left without social protection, or having double coverage in a cross-border situation. The proposal modernises the current rules to ensure that they are fair, clear and easier to enforce.
The main objective of the hearing was to get a better factual and legal understanding of the proposal, in particular in the fields where the main changes are proposed. One of the major changes is an introduction of a new chapter on long-term care benefits, including disability benefits.
The revised Commission proposal, and especially the new chapter on long-term care benefits, including disability benefits, has the potential to change the situation of social security coordination of persons with disabilities. During the public consultation one of the experts, Evelien de Jon, member of multinational professional services firm’s, Ernst and Young ’s, network of global international social security specialists and Ernst and Young’s Cross Border Commuter Expertise Center, gave a presentation on the new chapter on long term care benefits (Chapter 1a) and made a remark that the current wording leads to changes in the coordination of long term care benefits. According to her, as a result, a significant number of insured persons are likely to lose benefits but persons with disabilities were not mentioned among those.
The EUD will follow the developments with regards to the Commission’s proposal to stay informed how, after an introduction of the new Chapter 1a, the coordination of social security benefits, including disability benefits, will change and will plan its advocacy work accordingly.