ESIP contribution to the activities of the High-Level Group on the future of social protection

Social security institutions represented by ESIP play a key role in turning rights into reality for the EU’s population, including in cross-border situations, by implementing national and EU legislation. They are also innovators who strive to improve their systems and services.

However, social protection systems are also faced with major long-term challenges which interact with each other and could jeopardise their future adequacy and sustainability. Digitalisation, changes in the labour market, the ageing of the population and climate change are putting social security systems under pressure. In addition to these four megatrends, the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, during which social protection played an important role in the policy response to mitigate its socioeconomic impact, and the current geopolitical context have an important impact on the organisation and budgets of social security systems and their institutions.

In this context, we submit our recommendations:

- Overall, social protection is a necessary social investment in people rather than simply expenditure. Adequate and effective access to social protection for all should be a priority.


- There is also an important paradigm shift occurring in many social protection systems with a focus on early intervention and prevention in addition to providing benefits after an insured risk has materialised.


- In order to manage the impact of demographic change and an ageing population, investments in early childhood education and care, health promotion, rehabilitation and labour market inclusion are necessary. Innovative solutions to provide tailored and high-quality long-term care, including at home, should be promoted.


- To make the most of the digitalisation of social security, an efficient cross-border exchange of information, sufficient digital literacy and the combination of digital services with community-based services are prerequisites.


- Adapting to a changing world of work means ensuring that workers in new forms of employment should be adequately covered, and work in safe and healthy environments. Social protection institutions also need to have the means to collect information to verify their coverage.


- To mitigate the impact of climate change and environmental challenges, specific measures to support insured persons have already been introduced in some social protection systems but a broader approach for addressing climate change within social protection is needed. At the same time, the healthcare and long-term care sector’s own impact on the climate and environment needs to be reduced.

Find out more in our contribution.