In Europe, rural population has specific needs: the nature of the economic activities, agriculture’s restructurings, the central place of agricultural families.

Six countries - Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece and Poland - have chosen to give them autonomous social protection systems in order to answer these needs.


They deal with the whole spectrum of social security: health, pensions, workplace accidents and occupational illnesses, family and/or services. In order to be as close as possible to people, their action is based on a dense territorial network. Mixing proximity and coherence, national orientations and local context, these systems have demonstrated their adaptability and experience. Their ambition is to constantly adapt their missions to rural mutations, staying true to their values: equity, quality, social justice, autonomy, social democracy and defence of agricultural employment.

Moreover the Single Market and various Treaties are making, and will continue to make, the European Union an indispensable level for coordination with regard to social issues. These latest advances are bringing about the implementation of trans-national cooperation between the different social protection schemes. Simultaneously, the Common Agricultural Policy and the community cohesion policy mean that specific farming and rural factors must be raised to the European level, to defend their requirements and values.

The combination of these tendencies has therefore led the six autonomous agricultural social protection systems of the EU to join their forces through ENASP

Agricultural Social Protection Systems 

What do they have in common?

In several European countries there are special systems alongside the general social security system.

These systems differ significantly from the general social security system in particular with regard to the sector & group of insured persons (people working in agriculture), the organisation as an intermediary (responsible for both accident and old-age insurance; in part also for health and long-term care insurance and others), the proximity to the state, the internal and external solidarity in financing (special contribution standards, extensive involvement of the state), the focus on prevention of work-related accidents and occupational diseases, the shaping and creative role of the insured and their representatives and the role as an actor in rural areas.

In summary, common characteristics and common values are:

  • Sustainable focus on agricultural enterprises and the people working there
  • Competence for several pillars of social insurance
  • Status as a public body
  • Role of solidarity & social cohesion
  • Focus on prevention of work-related accidents and occupational diseases
  • Creative role of the insured
  • Role as an actor in rural areas


Achievements of the agricultural social security systems

The agricultural social security systems in Europe have presented themselves as superior to the alternatives. Their strengths lie above all in their sustained focus on the needs of agriculture and the special consideration of structural and demographic change. It is important to have cross-party political awareness of the special importance and role of agriculture as well as the multiple positive effects and opportunities for social security in this sector. The more the basic ideas of intergenerational professional and social solidarity are developed and understood, the better the social, health and economic situation not only in agriculture but for the entire population.

ENASP President

President Martin Empl (left) and Vice President Arnd Spahn (right)

Tailor-made services 

The Idea of Tailor-made Solutions and Services 

The idea of tailor-made services for farmers respects as an important basic insight that there are specific needs in agriculture, needs that differ significantly from those in the general population. Qualified surveys of insured persons are a way to track down the needs of insured persons. For example, a survey found that the regulated transfer of the farm is a particularly sensitive and burdensome aspect in agriculture. This insight was and is used by the agricultural-social insurance carriers as an encouragement to develop and establish needs-based health services. Overall, the agricultural social systems have developed a large number of tailor-made offers. They range from a target-group-oriented approach to structurally or essentially exclusive services. The benefits are partly defined in the law and partly based on sublegal regulations. As a result of the orientation towards the needs of the insured, there is a culture of understanding and communication that takes into account the special features of agriculture. 

ENASP is proud of its partnership links with 

The International Social Security Association (ISSA) is the world’s leading international organization for social security institutions, government departments and agencies.

The International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies (AIM) is an international umbrella organisation of federations of health mutuals and health insurance bodies counting with 59 members from 30 countries around Europe, Latin America and Africa and the Middle East. AIM members are all not-for- profit organisations providing health coverage to around 240 million people, as well as services relating to compulsory and/or supplementary health insurance, some of them also managing health and social insurance services.

The European Forum of the Insurance against Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases was founded in 1992.

Its aim is to promote and safeguard the principle of such a specific insurance. Moreover, it actively monitors the process of convergence between the systems in place in Europe

The European Social Insurance Platform was created in 1996 and since January 2009, ESIP exists as a legal entity under Belgian law. The development of the European Single Market and in particular the free movement of citizens across the European Union call for greater cooperation between national social insurance systems. 

Today ESIP as a strategic platform gathers over 50 national social security organisations insuring citizens in 17 Member States and Switzerland. ESIP covers various branches of social insurance including health, pensions, family and social inclusion, disability and rehabilitation and unemployment.

Copa-Cogeca is the united voice of farmers and their cooperatives in the European Union.

EFFAT is the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism sectors resulting from a merger concluded between two European trade union federations – the ECF-IUF and EFA – on 11 December 2000. As a European Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European industrial federations and enterprise management.

Founded in 1971, COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. COST Actions cover basic and pre-competitive research as well as activities of public utility


Insurance in Agriculture - Materials and Studies

The Journal has been published since 1999 by the Polish Agricultural Social Insurance Fund KRUS. The mission of the Journal is to disseminate and document scientific achievements and practical solutions in the field of farmers' social insurance in Poland, European Union and the world.


International ENASP Conferences

ENASP conferences have been held since 2015. The talks are simultaneously translated into German, English and French. Their aim is to present forward-looking ideas at the interface of health and social security on the one hand and agriculture on the other. Speakers are renowned experts from various professions and countries. People who feel responsible for this are invited to participate. The conference is kindly supported by Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank. If you have not already received an invitation in the past, please send an email to enaspsecretariat@svlfg.de.