Governments in Europe responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding their welfare systems to protect health, jobs, and incomes. The varied initiatives embody the principle of solidarity and demonstrate how welfare programs serve as a form of collective insurance against risk. But the twin health and economic crises also exposed gaps in coverage for many, including migrants and gig economy workers. Fiscal austerity, enforced by the European Union, has long constrained efforts to close those gaps.

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