Safeguarding Europe´s soul - a people-centred welfare state

Friday, 29 September 2023 | 13:45-14:45 | Kursaal

Organised by the European Health Forum Gastein

The European region is home to some of the most inclusive and sophisticated social security and welfare systems in the world, and these have upheld their promise of social protection during the recent years of crisis, responding to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to protect citizens, and particularly those who have been hardest hit. However, the longer-term impact on social security and welfare systems of this unprecedented emergency pandemic response, the impact of the ongoing war in Ukraine plus other 21st century trends and challenges including changing demographics, the climate crisis, new labour market environments and the digital transformation, pose considerable challenges for the sustainability and further development of these systems. This final EHFG 2023 plenary will discuss these challenges and consider the measures needed to ensure the ongoing sustainability and safeguarding of people-centred social security and welfare systems. How can we keep social issues high on the EU policy agenda? How will the 2024 EU elections address issues of solidarity, welfare, health and wellbeing? How does this all tie into a new social contract being called for by many citizens across Europe?

Session Recording


Keynote Interview

  • Frank Vandenbroucke, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health, Belgium

Panel Discussion

Moderated by

  • Nick Fahy, Research Group Director, RAND Europe


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