European unemployment reinsurance scheme

In “An Economy that Works for People”

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The European Commission in its work programme 2020 under the third priority - 'An Economy that Works for People' announced its intention to put forward a proposal for a European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme.

The topic has been discussed in the aftermath of the 2008 financial and economic crisis since 2012.  But the idea first appeared already in the 1970s when the debate on the Monetary Union started and the idea of a fiscal capacity for the  euro area was analysed as an instrument of stabilisation and redistribution . Since then different models have been promoted. 

Most recently in its annual report on the employment and social aspect of the European Semester, the Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee welcomed the Commission's continued intention to design a European Unemployment Benefit Reinsurance Scheme. It also called on the Commission to analyse the need for minimum standards for unemployment insurance systems.

As a response to the coronavirus pandemic crisis across the EU in March 2020, Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in a statement that the crisis might necessitate 'to accelerate the creation of a European Unemployment Benefit Reinsurance Scheme'. (EUBRS). Nevertheless, a proposal has not been presented so far.

In April 2020, as part of the comprehensive economic response  to the coronavirus pandemic, the Commission proposed a temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE). The SURE instrument is the emergency operationalisation of the EUBRS and is specifically designed to respond immediately to the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. It in no way precludes the establishment of a future permanent EUBRS. Details of the SURE proposal can be found in a separate carriage in this train in the 'Arrived' section.

An EU reinsurance scheme to support national unemployment benefits was not part of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan published on 4 March 2021.

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Author: Marketa Pape, Members' Research Service,

As of 20/04/2024.