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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Commission labour mobility proposals could undermine ‘social Europe’

December 13th 2016

The European Commission has today announced its proposals on EU social security coordination.

They include plans to tighten the rules for accessing benefits for non-working citizens. For example, EU citizens currently receive unemployment benefits in the country in which they last worked. Under the Commission’s proposals, citizens would only receive benefits if they have worked in a country for three months. Where this threshold has not been met, the responsibility falls to the previous country in which the citizen worked, even if unemployment benefits are lower than the standard of living in their current country of residence.

Commenting on the Commission’s proposals, Greens/EFA member of the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs Jean Lambert said:

“With social security a critical concern for EU citizens, the European Commission should be looking to strengthen, not undermine, the protections offered across Europe.

“Mobility of workers and free movement are at the very core of the European project and must be maintained. We will fiercely oppose any proposal that would negatively impact upon citizens’ rights to receive social security benefits across the EU.

“We are pleased that the Commission has held firm and resisted the demands of some Member States for an indexation of child benefits. All children should be equally valued across the EU.”