The economic crisis has given rise to significant challenges to the welfare state. Given that welfare expenses account for a large proportion of all state spending in the member countries of the European Union, reducing government spending means cutting welfare measures. Yet social protection, in particular unemployment insurance benefits and minimum income support, has significantly softened the impact of the crisis for millions of individuals. The global recession calls into question the financial viability of current programmes, and the crisis is being used by some as an opportunity to roll back the welfare state permanently. The present Forum discusses challenges to and opportunities for the welfare state after the crisis.