Social protection systems are designed to provide protection against the risks and needs associated with:
- parental responsibilities,
- sickness and healthcare,
- loss of a spouse or parent,
- old age,
- housing, and
- social exclusion.
The main policy framework in the field of EU social protection is the Europe 2020 strategy and the open method of coordination for social protection and social inclusion (Social OMC), which aims to promote social cohesion and equality through adequate, accessible and financially sustainable social protection systems and social inclusion policies.
Through the Social OMC – and in collaboration with the Social Protection Committee – the EU provides a framework for national strategy development for social protection and social investment, as well as for coordinating policies between EU countries on issues relating to: