Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 06/02/2023

High-Level Group presents its recommendations on the future of social protection and the welfare state

The High-Level Group on the future of social protection and of the welfare state in the EU will present its final report and recommendations tomorrow, 7 February 2023.

Tomorrow, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, will attend an event where the High-Level Group on the future of social protection and of the welfare state in the EU will present its final report and recommendations, followed by a discussion with participants.

The expert group, chaired by former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Anna Diamantopoulou, looked at ways to reinforce social protection both at national and European levels to respond for instance to demographic change, the impact of new forms of work, and the digital and green transitions.

The High-Level Group report sets out 21 recommendations to improve social protection systems and welfare states in six areas:

  • support to children, young people and families
  • ensuring inclusive social protection and lifelong learning
  • supporting adequate income and high-quality long-term care in old age
  • promoting inclusive and high-quality services
  • ensuring sustainable financing for a resilient welfare state
  • stepping up EU capacity to secure social protection in the future

The report provides useful insights that will inform and European and national policymakers, in parallel with the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Also today a Eurobarometer survey is published focusing on fairness, inequality and inter-generational mobility, which shows that less than half of Europeans believe that society is fair and equal; and the vast majority supports stronger social policies.

Commissioner Nicolas Schmit said: “Well-designed social protection systems play a key role in keeping citizens out of poverty, supporting transitions and smoothing income over the period, as well as acting as a macro-economic stabiliser. The report and its recommendations to Member States and the EU are an important contribution to our reflections for the years to come. We will continue helping Member States implement several EU initiatives that are relevant for supporting social protection, including the Minimum Income Recommendation and the European Child Guarantee. My thanks to the Chair and all members of this High Level Group for sharing their expertise and knowledge on these complex matters.”

Anna Diamantopoulou said : “The welfare state is a fundamental aspect of Europe’s identity. Therefore, it is imperative that for the digital and green transitions, as well as reforms in energy and competition policy, to be successful, parallel reforms in EU members’ welfare states  are needed. The report produced by the HLG on the Future of Social Protection in the EU and of the Welfare State is a roadmap, aiming to serve as a tool for national governments and the European Commission. The continuous adjustment of social protection policies to the emerging realities is of paramount importance for tackling inequalities and achieving growth.”

The event for the High-Level Group’s report took place in Brussels and online on 7 February 2023. An overview of the High-level group’s recommendations is available in its report and a factsheet in English.

The summary of the report and recommendations are also available in other languages.

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