Social insurance mechanisms in the European Union
Social insurance is an established method of social protection in certain European Union (EU) member states and has been introduced more widely as a means of minimising the threats to social welfare expenditure from economic crisis and ageing populations. With the recent global financial crisis, when affordability of welfare spending is coming under intense scrutiny, it is timely to consider the nature of social insurance. This paper reviews social insurance in three different welfare regimes (Continental, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon) and considers its future role. Social insurance currently takes a variety of forms reflecting historical developments and ideological influences in different member states and going forward is argued to be an important mechanism both in terms of its contribution to fiscal sustainability and solidarity.
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