The report, Dynamic Social Security for Europe: Choice and Responsibility , provides a comprehensive survey of developments and trends in social security in the Europe region, including pensions, family benefits, health-care and the administration of schemes. Social spending in Europe varies widely, reaching as much as 30 per cent of GDP in some countries, and this is expected to increase as a result of population ageing in the coming decades.
The economic crisis has added new pressures to the financing of social security in the region, through a combination of increased demand benefits and declining income, according to the report. A series of structural changes, including demographic trends, the effects of globalization on the labour market and evolving family structures and social norms, add to the complexity of choices facing social security administrators.
“The European social model has proven to be a robust and proactive instrument in meeting the challenges brought by the recent economic downturn,” stated Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, the ISSA Secretary General. “The crisis has reaffirmed the relevance of social security to compensate for labour-market failures. However, in the long run, it may lead to a reassessment of the roles and scope of many national social security schemes.”
The report identifies innovation as a key factor for improved performance as schemes face increased demands to simultaneously improve cost-effectiveness and quality, and gives examples of how policy-makers are addressing these constraints by adjusting programmes and reshaping systems, thereby contributing to recovery and growth in European economies.
Regional Social Security Forum for Europe
The ISSA report is prepared for the first Regional Social Security Forum for Europe, in Warsaw, Poland, 3-5 March 2010. Over 250 representatives of social security ministries and agencies in about 30 European countries are expected at the event. The Regional Social Security Forum is organized by the ISSA and is hosted by the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), Poland.
The Developments and Trends report, Dynamic Social Security for Europe: Choice and Responsibility , is published by the International Social Security Association.
Social Policy Highlight 11, Dynamic Social Security for Europe: A social model for recovery and growth , is also available.