Social Security Compass for Europe – updated English version online

The Social Security Compass for Europe has now been updated by the data pertaining to Croatia.

The publication highlights the differences in the social security systems in the EU’s 28 member states, explains how they are financed and describes the working conditions – the ultimate aim being to make this information more transparent and easier to compare. Listing the legal provisions in the various member states allows a comparison of the differing laws and administrative procedures. The revised database and brochure also include a detailed examination of the subject of “Disability”, a very significant and differentiated topic in social policy.

Section I of the publication gives a brief historical summary of how the EU received its social dimension, followed by an overview of how social protection is financed in the various member states. Section II provides overviews on the elements of social security systems throughout the European Union. These are described in a series of 15 short introductory texts on various social security topics – ranging from “Family” to “Social hardship”.

Section III contains key figures on the 28 EU member states. This information on each country and its population provides a solid basis for comparing social security systems throughout Europe.

Part IV is an extensive glossary, which explains the most important basic terms in European social policy, as well as general European and social policies, to brochure and database readers. The glossary can also be consulted as a resource wherever the Social Security Compass for Europe is used for teaching and educational purposes.

Section V explains how to use the Social Security Compass for Europe database as well as its functions, focusing specifically on the output and further application of this data.

The second component of the Social Security Compass for Europe, an extensive collection of figures and data in German, is a comparison of the individual areas of social life. This information is presented in clearly structured tables and compiled in a single database (SKE database) and can be accessed or downloaded here.

Revision date
The text sections of the pdf publication are current as of April 2014. The information contained in the tables is mostly based on the latest available reference data contained in EUROSTAT 2010. The updated version 3.1 of the Social Security Compass Europe database is current as of 1 July 2012 pertaining to the 27-member European Union. The data pertaining to Croatia which have been added to the database are current as of 1 July 2013.

Click here to read the latest PDF version of the Social Security Compass for Europe!

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