the umbrella organisations of the German Social Insurance in Germany joined
forces to establish a joint European representation in Brussels. 30 years
later, we have reason enough to celebrate.
timing was not coincidental at the time. It was the year when the European
single market regulations came into force. This is reason enough as a strong
European economic area needs the support of a strong social security
legislation. We have brought the expertise with us. This is because the Member
States are primarily responsible for health and social policy. There are good
reasons for this and they still apply today.
every rule also has exceptions: The creation of the European single market
marks a milestone in European development, especially for health insurance. The
Medical Devices Directive is dated 14 June 1993. In 2017, it was replaced by
two regulations, thus by directly applicable European law. The Medical Devices
regulations aim to increase product safety and thus, patient safety. Unfortunately,
their validity is still delayed by several years due to the pandemic, Brexit
and implementation problems.
afterwards, on 1 January 1995, as part of the overall strategy to create a
single market for pharmaceutical products, the "centralised" procedure for
the authorisation of medicinal products was established and the foundations
were laid for today's European Medicines Agency (EMA). Existing Community law
has also been further developed by the introduction of "mutual
recognition" of national marketing authorisations for medicinal products
for human and veterinary use between Member States. Today and in the coming
years, we are dealing with what is probably the biggest revision of existing
European pharmaceutical legislation.
the 1990s, the European Commission has had significantly stronger legislative powers in the area of
health policy for medical devices and medicinal products. But already with the
creation of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957, clear social policy
mandates were anchored at the European level. And there were good reasons for
order to make the mobility required within the framework of European freedom of
movement possible, the EEC was granted the right to enact the necessary social
provisions. For example, on the mutual recognition of agreements on medical
treatment abroad and on the retention of already acquired pension rights when
changing jobs abroad. It was when the coordination law was drafted. The
national social insurance institutions are still involved today in its
continuous development and efficient implementation.
European competences with regard to occupational health and safety have also
been existing since the 1950s. When we as the German Social Insurance European Representation (DSV)
deal today with the implementation of the chemicals strategy and stricter
limits for asbestos or lead, we maintain professional discourse with the
European institutions in line with the state of the art and cooperate to
continually improve occupational safety and health. A cooperation that also works
well as we are on site and have short distances. This is how social progress
area of pension insurance, the focus is on agreeing on common goals. This is
because the actual competence lies with the nation state. An important step was
the agreement of common goals on adequate pensions in 2003. Thus, the goal of
financially sustainable pension systems and the social policy goal of adequate
pensions are being jointly discussed at the European level today. For the
future, it is important to further develop these common European goals in the
face of the challenges of climate change and digitisation.
social security systems are facing major changes owing to digitisation,
demographic changes and, last but not least, climate change. Challenges can
always be mastered better by talking to each other. This is why we came to
Brussels 30 years ago. Of course, we are still doing this today – with a
committed team of eight staff members and in close exchange with our supporters
in Germany as well as with our European partner organisations.
looking forward to further work. Let us stay in conversation.