This book provides the first comprehensive information and detailed data on the welfare systems of all twenty-seven EU member states and offers the reader an invaluable introduction and basis for comparative welfare research. The introductory chapter summarizes the actual debate about welfare states and welfare (state) regimes, gives an overview on current welfare (state) research and analyses the main recent developments necessitating a new focus on European Welfare Systems. The twenty-seven chapters on the welfare systems of the member states are written on the basis of a common structure by experts from the individual states. An additional chapter analyses the current social and welfare policies of the EU and focuses on the interplay and limits between European and national social policies. Two concluding chapters provide (a) a first comparative analysis on the basis of all twenty-seven European Welfare Systems and (b) a theoretical reflection both arguing for and venturing the idea of politically limited pluralism in European welfare politics.