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According to a study just published by the European Commission in most EU countries, EU citizens from other Member States use welfare benefits no more intensively than the host country's nationals. Mobile EU citizens are less likely to receive disability and unemployment benefits in most countries studied.
The European Commission has asked Cyprus to take into account periods spent by Cypriot teachers working in Greece when granting and calculating pensions in Cyprus.
The Cypriot authorities currently refuse to take into account periods spent working in Greece when granting and calculating pension entitlements, and do not grant partial pensions to teachers who have worked in Greece and Cyprus. According to the authorities, the reason for this refusal is that the special Cypriot pension scheme for public officials does not fall under the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems.
While the Treaty requires all periods of work to be aggregated, and for any migrant worker to have a single career in terms of social security, the application of the Cypriot legislation has precisely the opposite effect, because it leads to a loss of rights and to a worker’s career being interrupted.
However, according to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the coordination of national systems applies to all legislation relating to the eight traditional branches of social security: it applies to general and special schemes (both contributory and non-contributory), and also to systems concerning employers’ obligations relating to the branches of social security.
The Commission’s request takes the form of a reasoned opinion. Cyprus has two months to notify the Commission of the measures taken to apply the rules in full, otherwise the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.