Component 3 Study visit on the framework of social assistance - legal framework; minimum standards of living; services for specific vulnerable groups to Romania, Czech Republic and Poland
Component 3 EU-China Social Protection Reform Project study visit has been coordinated on national level by Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly of Romania; Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Czech Republic and Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy of Poland (EU-China SPRP Component 3 Coordinator).
MoCA delegation visited three EU countries under the leadership of Mr Liu Xitang, Director General of Department of Social Assistance, Ministry of Civil Affairs, P.R.C. (Project Leader of Component 3). MoCA delegation has begun the EU-China SPRP C3 10 days Study Visit in Romania arranged by the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly – MoLFSPE in Bucharest. Several experts’ meetings have been organized. The main topics for the meetings were social assistance legal framework and social assistance benefits (including support for children, disable people and unemployed). In addition reforms of social assistance system lastly implemented in Romania have been also presented and discussed. One of the key interest of MoCA delegation was the payment and inspection system namely SAFIR system. The overall structure of the assessment procedures and its effectiveness in terms of social assistance frauds and errors has been introduced by Ms Larcamioara Corches, Director General of the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection. The experts meeting part of the visit was followed by two practical examples of social services providers for elderly and for people with disabilities both located in Bucharest.
In Czech Republic (Prague) at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs MoCA delegation has been welcomed by Deputy Minister Mrs. Zuzana Jentschke Stocklová who stressed the importance of knowledge exchanges in the field of social assistance between EU and China. The meeting was continued by MoLSA experts’ presentations. The main topics were non-contributory social benefit schemes, minimum standards of living and social services for vulnerable groups. The ministerial discussion has been followed by meeting the Labour Office in Prague (municipal level) where the practical knowledge of working with vulnerable groups by using the broaden scope of social assistance benefits and services has been presented to MoCA delegation.
In Poland MoCA delegation has first visited municipal level - cities Gdynia and Sopot. MoCA delegation was meeting Mr Michał Guć, the Deputy Mayor of Gdynia who shared the main challenges for social assistance policy on the local level (gmina). Mr Guć has stressed the importance of involvement of citizens and different partners (NGOs, Senior Citizens Councils, etc.) in the process of designing and implementing social policy on city level in time of ageing and changing socio-economic environment. Practical arrangements of social services for vulnerable groups have been presented at the Social Assistance Home in Sopot (day care, long-term care and volunteering services). In addition MoCA delegation has visited Centrum Integracji Spolecznej in Sopot which is run by an NGO for most vulnerable groups at risk of poverty or homelessness.
The central level approach to the legal framework of social assistance, social services and involvement of NGOs has been presented at the Polish Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy (MRPiPS). At MRPiPS MoCA delegation had been welcomed by Ms Renata Szczęch, Deputy Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy responsible for international affairs. Ms Szczęch expressed the importance of the working level visit which is a follow up of MoCA Minister Mr Li Liguo to Poland in April this year. The main focus of the discussion has been given to the issue social assistance legal framework, financing arrangements, benefits and services provided on central and local level. Furthermore special governmental programs and legal provisions for NGOs involvement in the social assistance and series for most vulnerable groups have been presented.
During the visit final practical example was given based on a very local level in rural areas close to Warsaw (in Wiązowna). During MoCA delegation visit to gmina Wiązowna meeting Mr Janusz Budny, village mayor and management of the social assistance center as well representatives of local NGOs from Wiązowna have been organised. The main focus of the presentation and discussion was given to challenges for social assistance in rural areas including financial capabilities and the role of central government support for local level social assistance providers.