Migration and social security: parochialism in the global village

2007-02-19T10:31:40Z (GMT) by Simon Roberts
The increasingly global characteristic of migration has considerable implications for social security. This paper looks at both the direct effect of immigration status on benefit eligibility, and the effect of benefit entitlement conditions themselves on third country nationals in the fifteen member countries of the European Union (EU) at different stages of settlement. It analyses each country’s benefit entitlement conditions by nationality criteria, contribution requirements and stipulations about years of residence, and the requirement to be present in the country. The paper draws attention to the important distinction between contributory and noncontributory benefits, with the latter tending to be less open to migrants and less likely to be included in international agreements; the lack of agreements between EU member countries and some sending countries with large stocks and flows; and suggests that the social security arrangements in the EU member countries create a hierarchy of statuses for migrants which may exclude those migrants who are most in need. Finally the paper examines the European Commission’s proposal to extend Regulation (EEC) 1408/71 to include third country nationals and concludes that the proposal moves beyond the principle of reciprocity towards a more inclusive conception of European citizenship.