CEPS Project

Feasibility and Added Value of a European Unemployment Benefit Scheme


The aim of the study was to assess the legal and operational feasibility of introducing a European unemployment benefits scheme (EUBS), as well as the economic added value that such as scheme could bring. This study was initiated by the European Parliament and commissioned by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (Contract VC/2015/0006). The project contributed to a much larger debate on supranational automatic stabilisers, of which a European unemployment benefits scheme is one specific form.

Given that 18 different variants of an EUBS were analysed in terms of their design, legal and operational challenges and economic effects, this study presented the most comprehensive work on the subject to date. For each of these 18 variants, the impact on the individual Member States, the EMU and the EU were examined. The 18 variants vary across a range of features, such as the replacement rate and caps used, the duration of unemployment benefits and the eligibility conditions that apply. If an EUBS were to be selected as one of the potential stabilisation mechanisms to explore further, this study provided evidence and insights on the barriers ahead and different ways to deal with them. The added value of a EUBS was discussed based on estimation results on macroeconomic stabilisation and redistribution. It also gave an overview on the potential contribution of a EUBS to labour mobility, upward convergence and Europe’s social dimension. The implementation of a EUBS was analysed, focusing on the legal and operational constraints at the EU and national levels and the report presented a roadmap for the implementation of the EUBS.

Karolien Lenaerts

Research Fellow

+32 (0)2 229 39 35

Ilaria Maselli

Daniel Gros

Distinguished Fellow

+32 (0)2 229 39 38

Gabriele Marconi

Mikkel Barslund

Matthias Busse


+32 (0)2 229 39 45

Lars Ludolph

Associate Researcher

Gilles Thirion

Elisa Martellucci

Miroslav Beblavy

Former member State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family in Slovakia