Magazine ed*
ed* Nr. 02/2023


Dear Readers,

This year, not only the single market turned 30 years old. The European Representation of the German Social Insurance in Brussels also celebrated its thirtieth birthday. We have taken the anniversaries as an opportunity to look at two major social developments and their significance for social insurance within the framework of a high-level expert conference: Digitisation and climate change.

ed* Nr. 02/2023 – Chapter 1

You know that we have been working on these issues for some time. As part of our event “140 years of social insurance – 30 years of the single market: “Bismarck on the move: Get digital. Go green.” we have been able to gather new insights. We would like to share these with you.

We are in the midst of profound social changes. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), climate change is the greatest global health threat of the 21st century. We are feeling its consequences even today. They have a direct and strong influence on the social security systems: health care, emergency care, occupational health and safety, and not least on pensions with their numerous clinics or in vocational rehabilitation. We will have to face that.

Digitisation is also in full swing. It is changing the way we learn, work, do business, communicate and manage our everyday lives in the future. Digitisation does not only affect our operational processes. It will also contribute significantly to better enforcing workers’ rights in Europe, making the system of social security coordination more citizen-friendly and improving cross-border cooperation as a whole. Here, too, it is up to the social insurance to proactively take up the tasks that arise and to organisationally and practically secure the modernisation thrust. To achieve this, the social insurance must be closely involved in the political and technical developments of the relevant EU initiatives from the very beginning.

The European Representation was founded 30 years ago in Brussels to enter into dialogue with each other, to work on practical solutions and to shape policy in an implementation-oriented way. This is also the message of our conference. This involves both early communication so that implementation problems are avoided as far as possible and technical developments do not diverge. With a view to climate change, however, it is also a matter of taking people along in the upcoming processes of change and adaptation, counteracting a lack of perspective and fatalism, and pointing out possible solutions.

With this ed* we would like to share our impressions with our readers who may not have had the opportunity to follow our event live.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Yours sincerely, Ilka Wölfle