Coordination of social security systems in the European Union

Advance digitalisation in the area of social security coordination - Ensure non-bureaucratic solutions for postings within the EU

In order to be able to guarantee the free movement of workers, coordination of social security systems is necessary. Harmonisation of the social security systems, on the other hand, would contradict the principle of subsidiarity and would not be economically viable.

A sustainable legal framework for the coordination of social security systems in the EU requires the digitalisation of processes in order to ensure unbureaucratic and practical solutions for both employees and employers.

Coordination of social security systems is a precondition for free movement of workers in the EU

The European Single Market is one of the greatest achievements of European integration and is essential for prosperity and economic success in the EU. In this context, the free movement of workers is a high priority. In order to secure this, provisions were already made in 1959 with Regulations (EEC) Nos. 3 and 4, which were intended to guarantee social security in cross-border cases.

In 1972, this regulation was reformed for the first time with Regulations (EEC) No 1408/71 and No 547/72. Following a further reform, Regulations (EC) No 883/2004 and No 987/2009 have been in force since 1 May 2010. They cover all nationals of a Member State (including family members and survivors) who are or have been subject to the legislation of one or more Member States. The material scope covers all branches of the German social security system.

Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and the implementing Regulation No 987/2009 coordinate the various national social security systems. The existence of national social security systems remains unaffected, i.e. the organisation of the respective national system (organisation, benefits and financing) is and remains a matter for the individual Member States. In principle, Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 defines the social security legislation to which workers moving within the European Union are subject.

In contrast to this coordination of social law, harmonisation of social security cannot and must not be the aim of European social policy. A harmonisation of forms of organisation, benefits and financing arrangements would contradict the principle of subsidiarity and would also not be economically viable. Moreover, these systems are an expression of the respective social, cultural and economic circumstances of a country.

Revision of the European legal framework requires unbureaucratic and practical solutions
The digitalisation of processes within the framework of the coordination of social security systems is to be advocated. In particular, the different national regulations on the submission of A1 certificates cause considerable legal uncertainty for employees and companies alike. Therefore, the bureaucratic regulations for applying for an A1 certificate should be replaced in perspective by a uniform digital solution within the framework of the already existing IT system for the electronic exchange of social security data (EESSI). In addition, an EU social security number could facilitate cross-border mobility in a targeted manner.
In addition, all missions, business trips and short-term postings related to services not exceeding 8 days are to be fully exempted from the requirement of an A1 certificate. The specificities of different sectors must be taken into account, so that, for example, the construction sector should not be affected by this exemption.
10. June 2024

Social security in Europe