EU Commission publishes study on migrant access to social security and healthcare

July 8, 2014

The European Migration Network (EMN), which works under the aegis of the Home Affairs Directorate of the European Commission, has published a study entitled Migrant access to social security and healthcare:policies and practice .

The study notes that "Social security systems, including access to healthcare, constitute one of the most powerful tools to reduce poverty and inequality and promote social inclusion."

The provision of social security and healthcare systems depends on countries having active workforces acting to sustain growth in economies and generate taxation revenues to pay for support that is needed.  In the ageing societies which are typical of Europe, these workforces emerge at least in part from the migration of workers across national frontiers.

 Despite the role they play in sustaining the social welfare and health service capacity of host societies, migrants are themselves usually subjective to more restrictive rules on access to these social good and benefits than citizens.  

The report notes that there is "substantial variation in how third country nationals experience the social security system in EU Member States, as complex administrative rules and practices related to nationality, periods of employment, contributions, residence or transferability shape shape the pattern of take up of social security, including healthcare,among migrant ggroups." 

It states that "By investigating the policies and administrative practices that shape migrant access to social security and healthcare, this study represents a necessary first step towards understanding how social security, including healthcare policies work for third-country workers and their families, within a managed migration system."

The full report can be accessed from the link above.  To access a four-page summary, CLICK HERE