The European Commission has postponed the digitalisation of social security coordination - the European Social Security Pass (ESSPASS) - until 2025. In practice, this means that workers will have to wait even longer for a better protection of their social security rights when crossing borders to work in another Member State and will continue to be an easy target for companies seeking to avoid paying their workers' social security contributions.
A pilot project for the implementation of the ESSPASS began in 2021 to, according to the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, “explore by 2023 the launch of a digital solution to facilitate the interaction between mobile citizens and national authorities and improve the portability of social security rights across border (European Social Security Pass)”. Yesterday, the Commission decided to postpone the finalisation of the project pilot to 2025.
EFBWW general secretary, Tom Deleu: “The Commission's decision is unacceptable. We cannot understand this delay in the era of digitalisation when everything happens at the speed of light. The Digital Covid-19 certificate is a recent example of the rapid digital action demonstrated by the EU. This delay only reveals the lack of interest of the Commission in progressing towards a more efficient social security system.”
The EFBWW appreciates the acknowledgment of the SIDECIC project in partnership with the employers, but the overall lack of urgency and definitive next steps in the ESSPASS initiative remain a concern. The European social partners had already pointed the urgency of such a solution in March 2023 during the High-level conference dedicated to this topic. It is crucial that the ESSPASS delivers effective tools promptly, ensuring robust social security coordination across the EU.