NELFA held a workshop at the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference 2017 in Warsaw. The workshop entitled “Freedom of Movement” aimed at illustrating the current status of rainbow families within the EU. COFACE Families Europe contributed to the workshop with a video message to present key messages from its Families on the Move workshop report on “Portability of benefits and services for families moving within the EU: breaking down key legal and practical barriers”, referring specifically to inequalities for families who are moving internally in the EU and the challenges they face in accessing social benefits and services.
Despite the EU’s effort to coordinate social security, Member States can still design policies that may undermine this effort and hinder citizen’s access to their social rights and benefits. Regulatory and institutional complexity hides barriers to access and export social security benefits. Some specific challenges also derive from the different definitions of ‘family’ in EU Member States, attitudes, or from different operational conditions (e.g. a Member State requires certain documents to prove eligibility to entitlements, which simply don’t exist in another Member State).
At the moment, COFACE Families Europe is assessing these challenges and look into how it should shape our future work in the area of freedom of movement and social protection. We will continue working towards breaking down key legal and practical barriers for all families.