We’re coming to the end of an eventful year for European politics. The citizens of the European Union have elected the parliamentarians who will discuss numerous European initiatives with the Council and the Commission over the coming five years. The European Commission will shift several chairs and the Brussels authorities will shine with new faces and a new distribution of responsibilities.
Next year looks to be just as exciting. In July 2020, Germany will take over the Presidency of the Council for six months, following on from
Finland and Croatia. This is a good opportunity to provide an overview of the individual aspects of the social systems in these countries. Even though social and labour policy in Europe has become more unified in recent decades, the organisation of social security remains a core competency of each Member State. It is important that this continues also
in future. Social security truly highlights the differences between cultural traditions, the history of political systems, policy preferences and economic circumstances. It’s worth taking a closer look: how are their systems for health, long-term care, workplace accidents, and old-age pension insurance different to the German system, and what do they have in common? What are the challenges that these systems will face in the future?
Even just comparing three countries shows the diversity of the European systems, but it also highlights the fact that, despite different approaches, there are more things in common than might at first be assumed.
We hope you enjoy reading this edition of ed*!
Yours Ilka Wölfle