Research Handbook on European Social Security Law
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Research Handbook on European Social Security Law

Edited by Frans Pennings and Gijsbert Vonk

This Handbook encompasses four dimensions of European social security law: social security as a human right, standard setting in social security, the protection of mobile persons and migrants and the global context of European social security law. It pays attention to both EU law and to various instruments of the Council of Europe. In 25 chapters prominent experts analyse contemporary debates, discuss new challenges and point out further lines of research. Through this exploration, the Handbook provides a source of inspiration for the development of this special field of law.
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Chapter 15: A European pensions union: Towards a strengthening of the European pension systems

Pascal Borsjé and Hans van Meerten


Due to the ageing of the European population, over the years much thought has been given at European level to the sustainability (in particular affordability) of the pension system on the one hand, and to the flexibility of the labour market on the other, with pensions forming part of terms of employment. In this regard the sustainability and financial structure of pension systems cannot be viewed independently from the stability of the European financial system and the economy as such. The most recent financial and economic crisis resulted in, among other things, a significant strengthening of European financial supervision within the European Union and now, in the eurozone, initial steps towards developing a banking union and the introduction of a separate Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the EMU (the Fiscal Compact), which sets out rules for national budgets of the signatory EU Member States. Legislation on, for example, European insurance funds (the Solvency II Directive) and investment funds (the amendments to the UCITS Directive) have seen further harmonisation at European level. In addition, in the European labour market, pension schemes in cross-border situations are often beset with practical problems regarding the relationship between various tax and social laws and regulations.

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