Social security developments and trends: Europe 2024

Europe has historically been home to some of the most advanced social security systems in the world. Many countries in the region provide comprehensive, adequate protection against common life cycle and labour market risks for the vast majority of the population. Widespread protection of individuals over the life course enables social security systems to play a key role in ensuring economic and social stability in the face of large-scale shocks. Despite these broad protections, notable gaps remain, especially for migrants, women, self-employed workers, and people engaged in digital platform work and other new forms of employment. If left unaddressed, these gaps could increase the vulnerability of impacted population groups and threaten the long-term sustainability of social security systems. Social security systems across Europe are confronting these multiple challenges through a combination of conventional and innovative tools. Their long-term resilience depends on finding ways to ensure that solutions to address both the long-term financial prospects, and the near-term concerns with coverage, adequacy and effective delivery, are mutually reinforcing. This is one of four regional reports during the 2023–2025 triennium presenting a regional perspective on social security developments and trends as well as identifying challenges and spotlighting innovations. They will be followed by a global report for the World Social Security Forum 2025.