Post-industrial societies face many new challenges in common – in demographic dynamics, in the economic and social fields, in labour market conditions and in environmental protection. These developments have major impacts on the lives of people, as well as on the needs and opportunities for social welfare provision. The international community, through the United Nations, has agreed on the adoption of the Sustainable Development Agenda to chart a new pathway to human well-being, putting people at the centre of sustainable development, so as to ensure that no one is left behind.
Social challenges in Europe have common features but the solutions inevitably differ, depending on the national circumstances and social welfare models. The ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation No. 202 of 2012 lays down the guiding principles that should be observed in creating national social protection floors. Social protection is widely recognized as an essential instrument to foster social justice, empower people and promote inclusive development. In its preamble, Recommendation 202 reaffirms that the right to social security is a human right. Social protection floors are important policy tools aimed not only at preventing and reducing poverty, inequality, social exclusion and social insecurity but also at promoting equal opportunities and gender and racial equality.