Throughout the European Union there is a general crisis of the welfare state, a phenomenon which is seen by many as a very real change of identity for the traditional paradigm of the Social State, leading to a new balance. Europe has very low birth rates and society’s ageing process imposes the need for urgent measures for confronting what in the next decades could prove to be unsustainable problems for national states: the health-welfare service, and social security. Private operators must be brought into this context, particularly the insurance companies who — as suppliers of services — will gradually take on an ever more active role in the forming of a system which will be capable of guaranteeing adequate levels of protection, security and wellbeing. Besides a great sense of responsibility, the handling of this change will require from the insurance companies a clear awareness of the framework within which they will be called to work. This is the matter to which I direct this paper.