Press release – Brussels, 24 October 2019

Publication of the Memorandum from French Social Security Institutions (REIF) on mobility within the EU.

In the context of the renewal of the European institutions and while discussions on the revision of the European rules for the coordination of social security systems have resumed since September and on Tuesday morning with the first trilogue meeting, the REIF is publishing a Memorandum on Workers’ Mobility in the EU, designed as a joint contribution to the European debates on the revision of the rules on workers’ mobility.

It proposes an inventory of the main problems, concrete solutions and recommendations for future European decision-makers.

Today, 17 million Europeans are residing or working in another member State and 4% of the EU’s working-age population is living in another EU country. This phenomenon of mobility is expanding and is not expected to lessen.

In order to ensure free movement for citizens, the principle of loyal and sincere cooperation and of legitimate confidence between national social security institutions has been enshrined in the European identity.

This principle shall be respected by the member States. As things currently stand, mobility practices can be unfair due to a lack of oversight and boundaries.

The lack of solution to guarantee trust between Member States and citizen is a threat to the achievement of the European project itself. Indeed, some mobility situations are complex and can have a great impact on mobile workers’ lives.

However, we are not starting from scratch. Cooperation within the EU is improving and producing positive effects that continuously facilitate the management and control of mobility situations.

France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Spain have recently been developing bilateral cooperation to fight against cross-border social security fraud. Through these programs, not only have potential cases of fraud been identified, but those engaging in such practices have been found guilty in courts of law.

The original ambition of helping an individual to keep their social security coverage, even when they cross borders for work, must not become a way to get around the host country’s social security laws. The current system risks favoring those countries’ security systems that provide the least extensive coverage to their citizens.

On a broader level, mobility situations are getting even more complicated through resorting to less-known legal structures, such as pursuit of activity in two or more Member States, road cabotage or civil air transport. Indeed, these special legal regimes can be used by employers or workers (whether salaried, self-employed, or both at once) to unduly avoid paying social security contributions in the country where the work is actually being performed. Conversely, mobile workers genuinely engaging in multi-State employment want the process to be simplified and safeguarded.

For this reason, a compromise on the texts for revising coordination must be found during this legislature, without waiting for a hypothetical revision of the coordination regulations in 10 to 15 years’ time.

In summary, the REIF has a twofold objective:

– Contribute to the development and improvement of the legal framework of European mobility rules, 

– Build on cooperation between social security institutions in the EU in order to take effective action against cross-border social fraud.

Contact persons :

Arnaud Emériau

arnaud.emeriau@reif-eu.org

+32 2 282 05 63

Audrey Tourniaire

audrey.tourniaire@reif-eu.org

+32 2 282 05 69



You will find the REIF Memorandum by clicking on the following link:

and on the REIF Twitter account: