Social protection systems are systems which help people meet needs in life and protect them and their families against risks. Those needs and risks can be associated with parental and caring responsibilities, sickness, healthcare, disability, old age, housing, unemployment, and social exclusion. Examples include social assistance and social insurance, as well as emerging minimum and basic income schemes. These are “safety nets”, and ways to reduce relative poverty and income inequalities. Social protection measures can also include social investments in creating healthy, resilient, and equal societies and communities.
In Making the link: Improving Health and Health Equity through Strong Social Protection Systems, EuroHealthNet explores how the two are connected. It presents European initiatives that are shaping national changes in social protection, gives examples from European countries showing how changes to social systems are affecting health and provides examples of EU policies and programmes as well as recommendations for progress.