(01/09/03) Wie van de ene naar de
andere lidstaat verhuist om te werken of om er van een pensioen te genieten ondervindt vaak moeilijkheden. Het
EP debatteert daar deze week over.
Making it easier to live and work across Europe
The European Parliament will this week discuss and vote on the Co-ordination of Social Security Systems Report that aims to streamline the process of claiming employment, health and pension benefits across the European Union. Jean Lambert (Greens - UK) is the rapporteur of the Report. The European Commission aims to make existing legislation dating back to 1971 more understandable, and their proposal - first made in 1998 - is finally coming to the Parliament for first reading.
Moving around and working in different countries within Europe is one of the 'four freedoms' promoted and protected by various Single Market initiatives. Yet in practise there are numerous bureaucratic and legal obstacles in the way of citizens wishing to work in different countries. The aim of the legislation under discussion next week is to ensure that anyone moving from country to country within Europe enjoys the same rights as someone who spends their entire life working and living in a single country. The Report has received broad support from political groups, but a number of amendments are proving to be divisive. Especially controversial are amendments concerning disability assistance, the definition of the family and access to unemployment benefits for people who leave their job in one Member State for family reasons.
There are plenty of examples of how the current regulation is failing to work. The Citizens Signpost Service - operated by the Commission through the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) - receives hundreds of complaints a year from people who are having trouble living, working and moving around Europe. Among the cases they have worked on are:
* An English woman living in the Netherlands who was refused unemployment benefits by the Dutch authorities even though a Dutch court ruled that her employment contract was wrongfully terminated.
* A Belgian man in early retirement who wanted to move to France but would lose his pensions entitlements if he did so.
* A Spanish man having problems claiming a pension he earned in multiple Member States.
Meer informatie over werken voor en in Europa