Social protection encompasses all interventions from public and private bodies intended to relieve households and individuals of a defined set of risks or needs, provided that there is neither a simultaneous reciprocal nor an individual arrangement involved. Social protection systems are crucial to reduce poverty levels and help people towards social inclusion.
ESSPROS aims to provide a complete and logical description of social protection in the Member States and covers social benefits and its financing, is geared towards international comparability and is harmonised with other statistics, mainly national accounts, in its main concepts. The social protection risks or needs included in ESSPROS are: disability, sickness/health care, old age, survivors, family/children, unemployment, housing and social exclusion not classified elsewhere. Hence, each social protection benefit included in ESSPROS must be classified under one of these functions.