Social Security Law is central to European welfare states. In the EU context, an extensive body of law lays down the legal framework on coordination of social security in Regulations (EC) 883/2004 and 987/2009, which concretise the Treaty provisions on free movement. As in other fields of European legal cooperation, questions arise on the degree of trust between the involved states, and how this affects the individuals concerned. Against this background, the contribution discusses the role of mutual trust and mutual recognition in the field of social security coordination. First, it examines the legislative choice of using coordination as the primary mode of cooperation in the field. Second, it highlights the challenges in the situations where mutual recognition is required under the Regulations, such as concerning portable documents issued in other Member States. Third, it examines the concept of mutual assistance between national administrative bodies.
In this paper I explore the role of mutual recognition between Spanish autonomous regions. The case of Spain is interesting from a comparative standpoint because regions enjoy important competences in the field of market regulation, the implementation of which can create risks in terms of market integration. These were traditionally dealt with by means of a constitutional provision that prohibits regional measures that restrict the exercise of the freedoms of movement under a proportionality standard of review (Article 139 of the Constitution). In 2013 the Spanish Parliament decided to go beyond that and passed a law establishing a region-of-origin rule. This was subsequently declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court, by virtue of the principle of regional autonomy (Article 2 of the Constitution). This story might show the scope, limits and constitutional problems of mutual recognition in a multilevel administrative State.
In this presentation, the authors will present the conclusions of the Special Issue of which they are editors and which includes the papers presented in the two connected panels. In the light of the sectoral presentations, they will take stock of the evolution of the principle mutual recognition as a regulatory mechanism in the European Union, especially from the perspective of administrative cooperation and the development of a system of ‘transnational’ administrative law. Moreover, they will discuss the contribution of the CJEU case law to the shaping of the mutual recognition system and the open problems and current challenges to the system. Finally, they will tackle the relation between mutual recognition and EU fundamental rights and the relationship between mutual recognition and mutual trust and sincere cooperation. It will be followed by a discussion.