In Europe, rural population has specific needs: the nature of the economic activities, agriculture’s restructurings, the central place of agricultural families.
Six countries 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.
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.
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 email@example.com.