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EU Enlargement

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of EC Regulation 1408/71 on the UK benefit system since the EU accession in May 2004; and what he expects the effect on the benefit system to be when Bulgaria and Romania join the EU. (98123)

EEC Regulation 1408/71 co-ordinates the social security systems of member states for people who move within the European economic area. It prohibits discrimination on grounds of nationality; provides that contributions for benefits for sickness, invalidity, unemployment and retirement made in one member state may be taken into account to help satisfy the entitlement conditions in another; and determines which state is responsible for the payment of benefits. Income-related benefits, such as income support, are not paid to people who move permanently to other member states.

There is no indication of any major impact as a result of this Regulation on DWP administered benefits since EU enlargement in 2004. We would expect the same to be the case after Bulgaria and Romania join the EU.