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New social security rules: better protection of citizens' rights

30/04/2010

Modernised social security: supporting mobility in the EU

On 1 May 2010 new regulations on social security coordination enter into force. This reform is a milestone in the building of a more citizen-friendly Europe.

New rules will facilitate intra-EU mobility, namely for workers, but also for young people and other citizens.
The principles that have governed coordination since 1959 (see the MEMO for further information) will still apply, but the new rules will ensure a better protection of citizens' rights. How?

Actively providing information to citizens

Information must be actively provided by the social security institutions and their services must be "user-friendly". A limited number of paper documents will be issued covering the situations in which citizens need to carry proof of their entitlements with them. These "portable documents" have a new easily identifiable design and present the information in a citizen-friendly way.

Enhancing cooperation between EU countries

EU countries will reinforce their cooperation. This will result in tighter deadlines for reimbursement of costs between them and in improved dialogue and conciliation procedures. The aim is to better address citizens' need for efficient and timely services.

Developing electronic exchange of information

The EESSI (Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information) system, built by the EU Commission, will reduce the administrative burden: information exchanges currently taking place between the institutions through some one hundred paper E (European) forms (nearly 2000 when taking into account the different language versions) will be done electronically by 1 May 2012.

Introducing simplification of the rules

The rules to determine which country's legislation applies to a particular situation have been rationalised and the number of exceptions reduced. The regulations' scope extends to new benefits such as paternity and pre-retirement benefits. Several simplifications have been made in the other branches of insurance.