The Commission of the European Union has proposed steps to further digitalise the coordination of social security systems in the bloc in an attempt to make it easier for Europeans to live, work, and travel in the other Member States.
In a dedicated Communication, the Commission has laid actions to make access to social security services quicker as well as simpler across borders by making use of digital tools.
The action will improve the exchange of information between security institutions and will accelerate the recognition and granting of benefits across borders, thus making it easier for Europeans to live, work, and travel abroad and for companies to do business in other EU countries.
As part of its measures, the Commission has called on the Member States to speed up the national implementation of the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information so that it becomes fully operational by the end of next year in Europe.
Member States have also been required to deliver more social security coordination procedures online so that people who want to move and work abroad have fast access to their eligible benefits.
In addition to the above-mentioned, the EU Member States have also been allied to engage in the European Social Security Pass pilot activities and to work towards introducing the EU Digital Identity Wallets. The latter will allow all citizens of the EU to carry digital versions of their entitlement documents, such as their EHIC, making it easier for healthcare providers and social security institutions to verify these documents.
Commenting on the move, the Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis, said that one of the main achievements is that Europeans get to live, work, and study in the other Member States.
“Digitalisation makes the application of these rules easier for citizens while reducing the burden for businesses and administrations,” the statement of Dombrovskis reads.
Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit also commented on the matter, saying that the further digitalisation of social security systems in Europe will have huge cost and time-saving effects on businesses and national authorities.
“Millions of people from the EU live, work or study in another EU country. Today’s Communication contributes to simplifying their lives by facilitating their interactions with national authorities and giving them speedier access to their eligible social benefits from abroad, such as pensions or healthcare,” Schmit added.
The EU Parliament and Council are now expected to endorse the approach set in the Commission’s Communication.