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Editorial

Dear Readers,

Old-age provision, health and care are fundamental core issues in every society. These three pillars of social protection arose from the values and standards of the actual social consensus involved and have also shaped them at the same time. Their organisation is determined by the available resources, and they are constantly being subjected to highly dynamic change processes.


The countries of Europe are also facing major challenges in the old-age provision, health and care sectors, albeit certainly with varying degree of subtle differences. However, the initial conditions and development paths for the three security systems can be traced back in all EU Member States. European societies are undergoing demographic changes that are having a major impact on all three systems: people are getting older. As a result, they will have a longer claim to old-age security benefits, they will need more extensive health measures and they will also become more frequently dependent on care. Numerous other developments are also constantly affecting the organisation of these security systems, such as changing labour markets and unequal working lives, which in turn all have implications for the pension systems.


Innovations in the healthcare system are increasing the demands for services, with the potential of becoming cost drivers that have to be absorbed. Care per se is caught in the conflicting area between the professional and informal support. As home care or in an inpatient facility, using benefits in kind, cash benefits or even a combination of both – everything is subjected to the premise of adequate financial resources.


The EC regularly publishes reports about the development of these three security systems in its Member States. These studies enable cautious forecasts to be  made. We would like to present three of these studies, the adequacy report, the old-age report and the long-term care report, to you, dear readers, in the current issue of the ED* special bulletin and, together with you, take a look at possible developments in the three social security systems.


We hope you enjoy reading it!


Ilka Wölfle