A Bulgarian MEP has denounced Cyprus in Brussels and in particular the Social Insurance Services, when asking a question with regards to alleged discrimination against EU workers on the island.
In a letter to the European Commission, Emil Radev, Vice-President of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs said he has received a number of complaints regarding the violation of the rights of Bulgarian citizens working in Cyprus in relation to Social Insurance Services.
According to the MEP’s complaint, Bulgarians, and possibly other European citizens working in Cyprus, are the victims of a serious delay in issuing their ‘U1’ document, without which they can neither register with the Labour Office nor apply for benefits, unemployment benefits or pensions. This delay leads many workers in Cyprus to face serious financial problems, as they cannot search for another job for months on end and claim the benefits they are entitled to, and thus are left without any means of earning a living.
According to European Directive 883/2004, said Emil Radev in his complaint letter to the Commission regarding common provisions of Social Insurance Services, workers who are eligible for unemployment benefits in an EU Member State can get unemployment benefits in another country. The entitlements and the amounts of the allowances are determined on the basis of those in force in the other country, taking into account their length of service in that country. To prove the length of these periods precisely, the “U1” document is issued, added the MP.
That’s why, as he explains in his letter, when the issuing of this document is delayed, it automatically delays the whole process in the other Member State, whether that is for allowance or pension, etc. Emil Radev called on the Commission to seek explanations from Cyprus and to inform the European Parliament of the explanations and justifications to be given by the Republic of Cyprus regarding the six month delays for the issuing of the ‘U1’ document.
In addition, he asked the European Commissioner responsible to examine whether the practice which Cyprus follows, and according to Radev, is an obstacle to the free movement of workers within the EU, but also to intervene and resolve the problem. “The EU has to guarantee that the rights of Bulgarian citizens, the amount of time they worked and their rights will be rationalised and the problems resolved in cases which are being transferred from one member state to another, ” he concluded.