The principle of free movement of workers is one of the most important principles of the EU. To guarantee free movement for all while ensuring their social security rights, the cooperation between authorities must be carried out in good spirit. This was established by the seminar of the EU network MoveS that took place in Finland last Friday.
Closer cooperation and increased trust between the social security institutions and experts is viewed as one of the ways in which to ensure workers free mobility and social security rights.
At the international seminar arranged at the Finnish Centre for Pensions on 13 September, the social security experts of various countries shed light on the background, purpose and functional implementation of the sincere cooperation that steers the implementation of the operations of the EU.
Experiences of successful cooperation
The principle of cooperation requires mutual trust of the actors and authorities in the difference Member States in the authorities of other member states.
Cooperation is often challenging in a multicultural and multilingual environment. This was the topic of discussion among the experts at the seminar. They presented views and good practices of the various countries involved.
The first contributions to the discussion were presented by the esteemed experts of EU social security legislation, Jean-Philippe Lhernould (University of Poitiers), who provided backgrounds of trust-based cooperation, and Bernhard Spiegel (Austrian Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection), who presented an analysis of the functionality of the principles of EU social security legislation.
During the afternoon, the seminar also depicted positive experiences in the functional and successful cooperation between authorities in Finland and Estonia and Sweden and Denmark. The results are present in citizens’ everyday life as they, for example, know which country pays out their parental benefits or to which country they earn a pension.
Technology improves, but trust is the key
The implementing legislation of the social security systems for mobile workers does not work if there is no trust or trust-based cooperation between the authorities in the different countries.
The European Labour Authority established this year and the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information (EESSI) will pave the way for a functional cooperation between the countries. In addition, the legislation that consolidates the EU legislation on social security is about to be reformed to better support the cooperation between the social security institutions of the Member States.
The seminar was arranged by the MoveS network of the EU and its Finnish members: the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Kela. The presentations of the seminar will be published later this autumn at the website of the MoveS network.
- A network of independent experts in EU and EEA countries in the field of intra-EU mobility
- Provides the European Commission with legal expertise in the areas of free movement of workers and social security coordination
- Aims to increase experts’ and practitioners’ knowledge on free movement of workers and social security coordination in Europe by organising seminars, and writing reports.
Seminar photo: Noora Allenius