Background Social protection reform in China started in 1984 and has made an encouraging progress since then. China's new Social Insurance Law promulgated in 2010 confirms the Government’s responsibilities on basic social protection throughout the country. The status quo of the social protection system, however, is still going on with discrepancies.
A major challenge to the social protection system in China is that it must adapt to the rapidly growing urban residents and ageing population. Policy makers should also keep concerning on excluded in order to maintain social stability and further promote social justice throughout the country. Aiming at continuing building and further developing an “inclusive” prosperous society, the Central Government has announced, in late 2012, that it will "make efforts" on establishing a society of “equal rights, equal opportunities and equal rules”. China’s 12th Five Year Economic and Development Plan (FYEDP) (2011-2015) aims at better livelihood and social benefits for the people and full coverage of social protection system over the people. Social protection systems of EU Member States provide a wide range of organisational models, and they are flexible to adapt to new challenges. In addition, EU Member States offer various experiences of transforming social security systems of former socialistcountries into market economies, which is relevant to transformation processes taking place in China.
The EU recognises the importance of supporting the development of social protection systems in its partner countries and considers it a priority to continue the co-operation with China in the field of social protection reform, which are stated in EU’s Country Strategic Paper (2007-2013).
The “EU-China Social Protection Reform Project” (SPRP)
The European Commission and the Governemnt of China have formulated the “EU – China Social Protection Reform Project”, a new cooperation initiative aimed at promoting social equity and inclusiveness of economic development throughtout Chinese society – as well as cooperation and dialogue between the EU and China in the same field. The Commission has envisaged to implement the action through a grant contract with a consortium of specialized public authorities and mandated bodies of the EU Member States in the area of social protection.