EU Indicators on Social Protection

In June 2001, the Gothenburg European Council, in its consideration of what is needed to meet the challenges of an ageing society, called for work on the development of EU-level policy orientations in the field of health care and care for the elderly. The Commission adopted a Communication in December 2001. On the basis of this report, the Barcelona European Council invited the Commission and the Council to examine more thoroughly the questions of access, quality and financial sustainability of systems for healthcare and long-term care of the elderly. A proposal for a new framework for the open coordination of social protection and inclusion policiespdf was published by the Commission in December 2005 (COM(2005) 706). In March 2006, the European Council adopted a new framework with a new set of common objectives. The adoption was based on a Joint Opinion of the Social Protection Committee and the Economic Policy Committee.

The European Commission's Directorate General for Employment and Social Affairs is responsible for the development of the necessary indicators in this field. For this purpose an Indicators Sub-Group of the Social Protection Committee (SPC) has been created. As in the field of pensions, the SPC works jointly with the Economic Policy Committee on issues in this area.

Member States co-ordinate their policies for combating poverty and social exclusion on the basis of a process of policy exchanges and mutual learning known as the 'Open Method of Coordination' (OMC)pdf .
For more information, see the Social protection website on Health and long-term care.