Social security system — Cooperation between EU countries

Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 on coordinating social security systems

It is an implementing regulation which modernises and simplifies the rules for applying Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems in the EU.
In implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004, this regulation makes it easier for citizens to exercise their right to move freely in the EU for study, leisure or for professional reasons and guarantees that they are not disadvantaged in terms of social security.
It repeals and replaces Regulation (EEC) No 574/72.

Social security institutions: these include institutions responsible for sickness, maternity, invalidity, retirement, accidents at work, unemployment, family benefits, as well as pre-retirement schemes. It has applied since 1 May 2010.


The regulation strengthens cooperation between EU countries’ social security institutions* and improves the methods that they use to share information with one another.

The regulation is divided into 5 titles some of which contain several chapters:

Title I — General provisions

Chapter I — definitions of various terms used in the regulation.

Chapter II — rules on cooperation between EU countries’ social security institutions:

how institutions share data;
how claimants interact with the social security institutions;
the legal value of documents and supporting evidence issued in another EU country;
the provisional application of legislation and the provisional granting of benefits (where there is a difference of view between institutions in different countries) and
the provisional calculation of benefits and contributions.

Chapter III — aspects such as arrangements between 2 or more EU countries:

preventing the overlap of benefits;
determining residence;
aggregating periods of insurance, employment, self-employment or residence completed under the laws of an EU country; and
how these should be added to those completed under the laws of another EU country (if applicable).

Title II — Determination of the legislation applicable

Under Title II, detailed rules are set out depending on which article (i.e. Articles 12 to 16) of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 applies to the claimant (for example, Article 13 applies to people who are employed in 2 or more EU countries).

Title III — Special rules concerning the various categories of benefits

Chapter I — Sickness, maternity and equivalent benefits (for example, conditions for meeting the costs of sickness benefits in kind as part of scheduled treatments, i.e. treatments for which an insured person goes to another EU country other than that in which he/she is insured or resident).

Chapter II — Benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational disease.

Chapter III — Death grants.

Chapter IV — Invalidity benefits and old-age and survivors’ pensions.

Chapter V — Unemployment benefits.

Chapter VI — Family benefits.

Title IV — Financial aspects

Chapter I — Reimbursement of the cost of benefits in relation to Article 35 and Article 41 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 both of which concern reimbursements between institutions.

Chapter II — Reimbursement of unemployment benefits pursuant to Article 65 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004.

Chapter III — Recovery of benefits provided but not due, recovery of provisional payments and contributions, offsetting and assistance with recovery.

Title V — Miscellaneous, transitional and final provisions

Title V covers aspects ranging from medical examinations and administrative checks, in cases when a claimant is staying in an EU country other than that in which the debtor institution is located, to the entry into force of the regulation.


Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems (OJ L 284, 30.10.2009, pp. 1-42)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems (OJ L 166, 30.4.2004, pp. 1-123). Text republished in corrigendum (OJ L 200, 7.6.2004, pp. 1-49).

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