From childhood to retirement, social policies are important at all stages of our lives.
Compared to the rest of the world, Europe has the best levels of social protection and also ranks highly in terms of quality of life and wellbeing. However, it faces a wide range of challenges.
The effects of the economic crisis are still deeply felt in many member states and, even though things have improved in many countries, great disparities remain within the EU. Unemployment rates are decreasing overall, but vary strongly among EU countries.
Low birth rates and an aging population also challenge the sustainability of welfare systems. Working life is being transformed due by technological innovation, globalisation and the rise of the services sector. New business models in the sharing economy with more flexible forms of working are becoming more important.