EU Proposes Measures to Facilitate Living, and Working Abroad

The European Commission has proposed measures to make it easier for European citizens to live, work, and travel abroad by making access to social security services quicker and simpler across borders.

The Commission’s Communication lays out suggested actions for Member States to further digitize the coordination of social security systems, including the following:

  • Accelerate the national implementation of the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information (EESSI) so that it is fully operational by the end of 2024 across Europe. EESSI digitalizes the exchanges among national social security institutions, to move away from paper-based, time-consuming and cumbersome procedures.
  • Deliver more social security coordination procedures fully online, to make it even easier for people to move and work abroad, and ensure they get fast access to their eligible benefits. Member States can build on the Single Digital Gateway Regulation, which foresees a fully online delivery of some important administrative procedures to citizens and businesses by December 12, 2023 at the latest.
  • Fully engage in the European Social Security Pass (ESSPASS) pilot activities, which explore how to simplify the issuance and verification of citizens’ social security entitlements across borders.
  • Work towards introducing EU Digital Identity (EUDI) wallets, which will allow EU citizens to carry digital versions of entitlement documents, such as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), making it easier for social security institutions, labour inspectorates and healthcare providers to instantly verify these documents.

The Commission invites the European Parliament and the Council to endorse the approach set out in this Communication and calls on Member States and all stakeholders to work together to implement its actions.  Advancing the digitalization of social security coordination is also relevant in the context of ongoing negotiations by co-legislators on the revision of EU social security coordination rules. The Commission encourages the European Parliament and on the Council to modernise the legal framework by reaching an agreement on the revision.

Go deeper: EU nationals are entitled to travel, work and live in another EU country. EU rules (Regulation No 883/2004 and Regulation No 987/2009 on its implementation) protect people’s social security rights when moving within Europe, for instance when it comes to healthcare, family benefits and pensions, and make sure they get access to their eligible benefits as quickly as possible across the EU.

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