European Journal of Social Security

Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • Book Review: Research Handbook on Human Rights and Poverty by Marthe F. Davies, Mortem Kjaerum, Amanda Lyons (eds.)
  • The Charter and Social Security Rights: Time to Stand and Deliver?

    From a standpoint of fundamental rights, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) can be considered as having taken a restrictive approach to social security ever since it ruled in case C-333/13, Dano. The ECJ ruled that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union does not apply because Regulation 883/2004 only coordinates member states’ social security systems. This has since been raised by national courts in seven further preliminary rulings: case C-647/13, Melchior; case C-408/14, Wojciechowski; case C-284/15, M; case C-89/16, Szoja; case C-447/18, UB; case C-243/19, A; and case C-243/19, CG. In the light of these rulings, this article provides an analysis of social security from a rights perspective. This includes considering and analysing the inherent limitations of the Charter in view of the principle of conferral. The author asks: the Charter and social security rights – time to stand and deliver? If so: deliver what? If not: why not?

  • Book Review: European Welfare State Constitutions after the Financial Crisis by Ulrich Becker and Anastasia Poulou
  • Overview of recent cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union (September 2021-December 2021)

    The concept of ‘working time’ for a period of stand-by time according to a stand-by system applicable to firefighters was interpreted by the Court in MG (C-214/20). In the Y case (C-636/19), the Court interpreted the concept of ‘insured person’ for the purpose of reimbursement of healthcare costs under Directive 2011/24. In the TS case (C-538/19), the Court dealt with another cross-border healthcare case. This time the question was whether a Member State can require an authorisation for cross-border healthcare to be subject to the submission of a medical report drawn up by a doctor from its national public health insurance system in light of Article 20 of Regulation 883/2004 and Article 56 TFEU. In ASGI and APN (C-462/20), the exclusion of third-country nationals from the eligibility to the Italian family card was under scrutiny. In SC (C-866/19), the Court clarified that the principle of aggregation applies to the calculation of the theoretical amount of benefit but not to the calculation of the actual amount of benefit under Article 52(1)(b) of Regulation 883/2004. In K (C-285/20), the Court held that being on sick leave and receiving sickness benefits can be considered as equivalent to the pursuit of an economic activity for the purpose of applying the rules on unemployment benefits for wholly unemployed frontier workers under Article 65(2) and (5) of Regulation 883/2004.

  • Basic Income and the Social Investment State: Towards Mutual Reinforcement?

    Is a social investment strategy compatible with the provision of an unconditional basic income? Prima facie, these two scenarios look like incongruent policy alternatives. While social investment – an influential policy paradigm at the level of the European Union – aims at promoting public services and maximum labour market participation, basic income is paid in cash and has sometimes been presented as the key component of a post-work future. In this article, we explore this apparent incongruence and show that these two visions for welfare reform are not necessarily incompatible. We argue that they may share a number of substantial points of agreement, and indeed may reinforce one another according to a logic of institutional complementarity. In particular, we claim that a partial basic income (i.e., a modest unconditional income guarantee, whose amount would be insufficient if one lives alone) could enhance or complement the key functions of a social-democratic version of the social investment strategy. By doing so, we conclude that the integration of a basic income into a social investment package could contribute to overcoming criticisms of the social investment agenda. At the same time, it could rescue basic income from the numerous critics who see it as an unrealistic policy proposal.

  • Book Review: Social Law 4.0. New Approaches for Ensuring and Financing Social Security in the Digital Age by Ulrich Becker and Olga Chesalina
  • Book Review: Leading Social Policy Analysis from the Front. Essays in Honour of Wim Van Oorschot by Tijs Laenen, Bart Meuleman, Adeline Otto, Femke Roosma, Wim Van Lancker
  • Regulating the Poor through Internal Borders: The EU in Historical and International Perspectives

    Tensions surrounding internal migrants’ access to welfare and the associated politicisations about who should shoulder the ‘fiscal burden’ are not unique to the European Union (EU). Based on a Most Different Systems Design and following an institutionalist approach, this article analyses the developments associated with freedom of movement and access to poor relief/social assistance in four economically and politically diverse jurisdictions. It also considers the implications of these developments for the EU. The four cases analysed are industrialising England, contemporary China, Germany, and the United States. Although economic integration was a necessary, it was not a sufficient condition for the abolishment of residence requirements for internal migrants in all four jurisdictions. Moreover, it took political power, various coalitions, or the leadership of actors to overcome the barriers and hurdles on the path to social citizenship in the wider territorial jurisdictions. Solidarity as a precondition did not play a significant role.

  • Book review: The Dual Nature of Employee Involvement. An Economic and Human Right Issue by Sára Hungler
  • Different Methods, Different Standards? A Comparison of Two Finnish Reference Budgets

    According to Principle 14 of the European Pillar of Social Rights, everyone should have the right to adequate minimum income benefits that ensure a life in dignity. Reference budgets have been proposed to monitor this principle. Reference budgets are priced baskets of goods and services that represent a given living standard. At the moment, no common methodology for constructing reference budgets exists; instead, different methods are used to construct them. This study sought to compare the approaches and results of two Finnish reference budgets: one created by the Centre for Consumer Society Research (CCSR), and the second by the ImPRovE project. The purpose of the article is to respond to a gap in existing literature around how different methods for constructing reference budgets impact their outcomes. The two reference budgets offer a strong basis for comparison because they both sought to capture the same living standard in the same context for similar household types (single woman, single man, heterosexual couple, and heterosexual couple with two children), while using different approaches. The results suggest that the two reference budgets arrive at different estimates of what is needed for social participation. Ultimately, we found that the most significant differences between the budgets were housing and mobility costs for the couple with two children due to differences in information bases, selection criteria, evaluators, and pricing. The study makes a significant contribution to the literature because it is one of the first to explore how different approaches to constructing reference budgets affect their outcomes. The results suggest that clear criteria for constructing reference budgets are needed to monitor Principle 14 of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

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