Let's suppose that an Italian lives in Brussels but works in Lille (France).

I know that they can work and live in any other EU country with little restrictions, but how does that apply to a person who works and lives in two EU third countries?

When it comes to unemployment benefits, which is the person going to take when they lose their job, the one according to French law or the one according to Belgian law? Are unemployment benefits related to the place of residence or work?

  • I replaced "chômage" with "unemployment benefits." I think this phrase should be understood by most readers. I hope you don't mind, but if you do you can use the "edit" link to make further changes or to restore the original version.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 14:18
  • No issues, I wrote chômage because I'm accustomed to read and write in French. No problem for that
    – abdul
    Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


Unemployment is an insurance for which you make contributions to (mostly based on your salary), thus payments from that insurance will be paid out from the (mostly national) organisation.

Your income tax is paid where you earn your income.

For cross borders workers (working in one country but living in another) things become complicated in the area of social services such as health insurance.

Here again you pay an organization that is often (but not always) based in one country.

Often there are organizations that help these cross border workers in such questions as choosing a health sevice based in France (where you work), but allows you to go to a doctor in Belgium (where you live).

Lille, being a border town, will no doubt have one.

Also asking your employer would probably result in some good tip since, for them, it is possibly an everyday affair.

  • Thanks for the answer. But how can health insurance be an issue since every EU citizen is granted health coverage anywhere in Europe?
    – abdul
    Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 14:02
  • @abdul You are not 'granted' health insurance. Having one is mandatory. You are basically a member of a specific health insurance company. So you must make sure that this company offers unrestricted coverage in both countries. Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 14:08
  • I don't have one here in Italy. I mean, I depend upon a national health insurance system (if I can call it this way), basically the states takes care of my health expenses if I ever have any health issue. I guess it's samewise anywhere in Europe for every resident.
    – abdul
    Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 14:10
  • @abdul No its not so in every country. Belgium and Germany have individual companies where you can choose which one you want to belong to. Italy, UK and it seems France have a National health service. Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 14:20
  • 1
    @abdul You are covered when traveling in another EU Country, but more in the since of an emergency service. For a yearly checkup you may not be covered (depends on the conditions). Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 14:30

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