The EU is launching a project to electronically exchange social security data in order to simplify data exchange between around 15,000 European social security institutions.

MS – 07/2017

Data exchange and social security

The cross-border exchange of social security information is mainly paper-based, which is often complicated and time consuming. This no longer fits with the working life of today’s EU citizens and the right to free movement for people and workers. The use of transnational CVs has been growing steadily for years. Personal data and insurance periods must be exchanged between the Member States. Certain treatments carried out abroad require insurance funds to issue proof of entitlement, which often triggers an avalanche of paper. 

What is EESSI?

The aim of the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information (EESSI) system is to simplify and speed up processes. The current standardised paper documents will be converted into electronic format. This will create electronic business use cases (BUCs) in the fields of health care, long-term care, pensions, workplace accidents and diseases, unemployment benefits and family services. During the development phase of the digital forms, it was crucial that the European Commission and social security experts from the Member States work together to take into account the specific characteristics of the various national systems.  

What happens now?

The project involves the EU Member States and the four EFTA countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Each country has until July 2019 to set up national access points which coordinate the exchange of social security data between domestic and foreign social insurance institutions. These institutions are the focal point for acquiring and providing social data with other institutions. The introduction of the new system represents a major challenge for the many different social security institutions in Germany. For example, more than 100 health insurance funds need to make extensive modifications to their existing processes in order to link their billing processes to the national access points. However, once implemented, claims and applications should be able to be processed faster and benefits provided sooner.  


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