Dáil Éireann - Volume 569 - 26 June, 2003

Written Answers. - EU Agreements.

  28. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs when bilateral social security agreements will be reached with European Union applicant countries. [17899/03]

  Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): On accession to the European Union on 1 May 2004, the existing EU legislation on the co-ordination of social security systems will apply to the ten new member states. This legislation provides for the aggregation of periods of insurance on employment of people moving within the EU and ensures that they do not suffer disadvantages in their social security rights. The legislation, contained in Regulation 1408/71, supersedes and replaces any prior bilateral agree[1179]ment. There are currently no bilateral agreements on social security between Ireland and any of the accession countries, and in light of the above, the question of introducing any such agreement does not arise.