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Dear Reader,

The European Commission is increasingly concerning itself with the challenges and opportunities afforded by the digitalisation of work and private life. This affects nearly all areas of work and administration, including social security.  


In line with the principle of subsidiarity, structuring and organising social security falls within the competence of the Member States. As such, the European Commission is endeavouring to work across borders, most noticeably by providing digital infrastructures and supporting the coordination of national initiatives for digitalisation. This is way of driving forward effective cross-border cooperation, which EU citizens perceive more as “hidden”. 


Of concrete relevance to social insurance are digital health and the “containment” of health apps. After all, medical devices and medicinal products are subject to a raft of European legislation. This is applicable today and even more so tomorrow for any new forms of treatment with digital apps or software.  


In the future, this will go much further: digitalisation is one of the European Commission’s ten priorities for ensuring Europe’s competitiveness. As part of the strategy for a digital single market, the EU Commission has presented activities and strategic plans for research, businesses and public bodies.  


What does this mean for German social insurance? We’ll look at three examples to help give an overview: cross-border data exchange, a binding regulation on health apps, and establishing infrastructures for cross-border electronic health services in the Member States.  


We hope you enjoy reading this edition of ed! 


Ilka Wölfle