The Social Europe guide is a bi-annual publication aimed at providing an interested but not necessarily specialised audience with a concise overview of specific areas of EU policy in the field of employment, social affairs and inclusion. It illustrates the key issues and challenges, explains policy actions and instruments at EU level and provides examples of best practices from EU Member States. It also presents views on the subject from the Council Presidency and the European Parliament. This fifth volume in the series of Social Guides sets out how the new challenges facing EU countries call... for a rethink of our approach to social policies. It explains the functions of social policies and recent initiatives by the European Commission to support increased ‘social investment’ – benefits and services that improve people’s skills and capabilities and support people’s inclusion in society. This guide also explains how the European Union’s social policy guidance is designed and delivered, and how the Commission is supporting Member States in making reforms to improve the adequacy and sustainability of their social policies.