ECAS Knowledge Centre
Freedom of Movement in the EU
European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)
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Practices across the Union vary considerably. The time, money and efforts needed to prepare applications is highly variable, and there are frequent administrative burdens. Availability of information also varies. While some nations (generally Western European nations) provide clear, accessible and user-friendly information online; others (notably Germany and Italy) provide patchy and uneven information. Information hotlines leave much to be desired across the Union. Recommendations include creating single contact points within relevant administrations and providing training to national authorities on free movement rights.
In the specific case of cash benefits such as social pensions, disability allowances and non-contributory job-seekers allowances financed by general taxation rather than contributions by the individual concerned (so-called special non-contributory cash benefits - SNCBs), the study shows that economically non-active EU mobile citizens account for a very small share of beneficiaries and that the budgetary impact of such claims on national welfare budgets is very low. They represent less than 1% of all such beneficiaries (of EU nationality) in six countries studied (Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Malta and Portugal) and between 1% and 5% in five other countries (Germany, Finland, France, The Netherlands and Sweden).The study also found that:the vast majority of EU nationals moving to another EU country do so to workactivity rates among such mobile EU citizens have increased over the last seven yearson average EU mobile citizens are more likely to be in employment than nationals of the host country (partly because more EU mobile citizens than nationals fall in the 15-64 age bracket)the majority of currently non-active EU citizens who move have previously worked in their current country of residence (64%)non-active EU mobile citizens represent a very small share of the total population in each Member State and between 0.7% and 1.0% of the overall EU population.on average, the expenditures associated with healthcare provided to non-active EU mobile citizens are very small relative to the size of total health spending (0.2% on average) or the size of the economy of the host countries (0.01% of GDP on average).
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