Policy Brief on Common Minimum Standards for Unemployment Insurance

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Policy Brief on the topic of Common Minimum Standards for Unemployment Insurance, providing an overview of the insurance schemes in EU countries and policy recommendations for upwards convergence. 

Summary

  • Unemployment insurance schemes exist in all EU countries, but member states show large discrepancies with regard to passive support (replacement rates, coverage, entitlement period) and active assistance (active labour market policies).
  • Upwards convergence in the field of unemployment insurance systems would help buffering future economic shocks, prevent labour marget dualisation and facilitate labour mobility.
  • Increasing comparability and developing minimum standards for unemployment insurance schemes across the EU would help to achieve upwards convergence, especially in the field of for active labour market policies.
  • It is unlikely to achieve long-term convergence between different UI systems without binding standards, as previous evidence has attested member states' low compliance with non-binding rules in this policy area.

A combination of non-binding and binding rules is therefore most promising. This could be done through a three-step approach of benchmarking, a Council recommendation and legislation to achieve progress.

 

Author: Alisa Trojansky

Edited by the Workers' Group

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Common Minimum Standards in the field of unemployment insurance in EU Member States