EU social security coordination
Social security systems differ significantly from one member state to another.
The EU provides common rules to protect your social security rights when moving within Europe (EU 27 + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The rules on social security coordination do not replace national systems with a single European one. All countries are free to decide who is to be insured under their legislation, which benefits are granted and under what conditions.
However its important to understand that each individuel member state can have their own requirements for being able to use the coordination rules. This is especially the case with Denmark.
For example, in Denmark you need to work 296 hours within 3 months before you can transfer aquired rights from your home EU Country's Unemployment Insurance.
In December 2021, the European Parliament and EU governments agreed to update the rules for social security coordination, including unemployment benefits, long-term care and family benefits, as well as better rules for posting workers and applicable legislation. Once approved, these new rules will help millions of mobile European workers by guaranteeing more social security for workers moving from one EU country to another.
The political agreement still needs to be confirmed by EU member states on 22 December 2022 and by the full plenary of the European Parliament. Read more here.
The four main principles
- You are covered by the legislation of one country at a time so you only pay contributions in one country. The decision on which country's legislation applies to you will be made by the social security institutions. You cannot choose.
Regarding Unemployment Insurance the main princip is that you must be insured in the country where you perform your work.
- You have the same rights and obligations as the nationals of the country where you are covered. This is known as the principle of equal treatment or non-discrimination.
- When you claim a benefit, your previous periods of insurance, work or residence in other countries are taken into account if necessary.
- If you are entitled to a cash benefit from one country, you may generally receive it even if you are living in a different country. This is known as the principle of exportability.
For unemployment Insurance you can bring benefits to another EU country, but only if you want to look for job, and for a maximum period of 3 months.
How the coordination works?
Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information system (EESSI)
The Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information system (EESSI) connects electronically around 5.000 social security institutions of the 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It replaces the paper-based exchanges to the benefit of citizens who have lived and worked in several of these countries.
According to the implementation of EESSI the expected date to have EESSI in full production by all 32 Participating Countries, is in June 2022.
Until the end of the transitional period towards full electric exchange between all Member States, paper versions of the SEDs can be used.