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Shopping for social security law in the EU

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Publication details

JournalCommon Market Law Review
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2020
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2021
Issue number1
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)13-38
Original languageEnglish


This article explores the extent to which EU law does and should enable undertakings to control which Member State’s contribution rate applies to them. By relying on posted workers, for example, undertakings can “shop” for the cheapest social security law, lowering their labour costs; this is, however, to the detriment of workers, competitors, and social security systems. The article seeks to determine when conflict rules excessively facilitate law shopping. It then discusses how legislators and courts can complicate law shopping by framing it as abuse, redesigning rules, interpreting them teleologically, and improving their enforcement.

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    Research areas

  • Social dumping, Regulatory arbitrage, Social security coordination, EU social security law, Posted workers, Fraud, Abuse of law, Conflict rules, Letterbox companies, Forum shopping, Law shopping, Indirect choice of law, Regime portability, Regulation 883/2004



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