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 Full text 
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Coordination of social security systems (debate)

  Marian Harkin, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, as legislators, our responsibility is to ensure that whatever legislation we support tomorrow will improve the current situation, will address identified problems or blockages, will contribute to free and fair movement of workers, and will ensure trust, certainty and social fairness and a level playing field for all workers. That’s our benchmark in the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). Therefore, in ALDE, we believe that the original Commission proposal is a decent attempt at achieving an improved regime.

The draft agreement at trilogue had a number of positive elements, but the Council could not support it. There are positive elements in today’s report on family benefits, on long—term healthcare and on the non-codification of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgments. However, we believe that the amendment on Article 13, which could include drivers, would cause nightmares for drivers and employers, potentially subjecting drivers to a number of different social security regimes, and we have tabled amendments to remove that proposal. We do not agree that frontier workers can choose which social security system they will benefit from. This would cause huge uncertainty for Member States and undermine the social contract between cross—border workers and national workers. We don’t support one aggregation. Again, this will, in some Member States, create an anomaly between cross—border and national workers. If our amendments on these matters are accepted, we can, on balance, support this legislation. But, if they are not accepted, we believe it will not deliver balanced and fair legislation.

Finally, can I thank the rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs for their commitment to this dossier. We didn’t always agree, but we certainly worked our best.

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