Feasibility and added value of a European unemployment benefit scheme

Client: EC DG Employment, social affairs and Inclusion

Duration (from - to): February 2015 - November 2016
Partners:  CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies) - Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER – University of Essex), Cambridge Econometrics (CamEcon), the University of Leuven (KUL) and Eftheia

Geographic coverage: EU Member States

Reports

Working paper : 

A European Unemployment Benefit Scheme - The rationale and the challenges ahead

The global crisis of 2008 re-opened the debate on a supranational automatic stabilisation mechanism for Europe that could prevent economic shocks or mitigate their impact on employment and income. While most EU member states are equipped with powerful automatic stabilisers, the EMU currently lacks such a mechanism. A European unemployment benefits scheme (EUBS) has long been discussed as one possible response to this issue, among others.

 

The consortium led by CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies) and including the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER – University of Essex), Cambridge Econometrics (CamEcon), the University of Leuven (KUL) and Eftheia, was entrusted with the EU DG EMPL project on 'Feasibility and added value of a European unemployment benefit scheme'.

The project comprises three main tasks:

  1. An in-depth examination of 18 possible options for a European unemployment benefit scheme (EUBS), considered by the technical specifications. The 18 forms come in two sorts: the first four are the "equivalent" systems, i.e. unemployment-linked transfer schemes which receive contributions from and pay out to Member States. The other are "genuine" supranational EUBS systems, partially replacing the national systems, receiving contributions from and paying benefits to citizens.

  2. The second task builds on the first and seeks to study the feasibility of the different EUBS options, both at national and at European level. The national feasibility assessment has two angles (legal and operational feasibility) and will be based on contributions from national experts in 28 EU Member States. The national experts’ input will form the basis for a horizontal (synthesis) report on legal and operational barriers facing a EUBS, in turn feeding in to a roadmap.

  3. This task concerns essentially a statistic modelling of the value added of a EUBS. After the definition of the benchmark for comparing the added value, this will involve the development of a macro-economic model to assess the stabilisation impact and a micro-economic model to look at redistributive effects.

 

Eftheia carried out the analysis of the legal and operational feasibility of the proposed scheme(s) at national level (task 2). To that end, it has been coordinating a network of legal experts  and a parallel network of peer reviewers in all EU Member States

Report

The legal and operational feasibility of a European Unemployment Benefit Scheme at the national level

Report (final synthesis)

Feasibility and added value of a European Unemployment Benefit Scheme 

European Social Affairs, Management and Communication
Research, policy analysis, training, capacity-building, information sharing and communication activities