The training course “Social Security in an Ageing Society: EU Practices Responding to the Demographic Challenge” was held in France (Paris and Marseille) from 10th to 24th September 2017. The course was attended by fourteen officials from the Social Security department of the Chinese Ministry of Finance (three officials coming from the central government and eleven from distinct provincial offices). The delegation was led by Mr. Fu Jinling, Deputy Director-General of the Social Security department of the Ministry of Finance. The Training was organized thanks to the cooperation of the Italian Institute of Social Protection (INPS, Project Leader and Component 2 Coordinator); the Italian National School of Administration (SNA), the Component Two team in Beijing, and the logistic support of Expertise France and SISPI Italia Previdenza. The course - a relevant activity of the 2017 program of the C2 EU-China Social Protection Reform Project - was in line with the policy priorities of the Chinese Government, which is currently trying to cope with the rapid ageing of the population and to define adequate policies in the social protection field.
The main objectives of the course were 1) the assessment of the European situation on structural problems such as population ageing; sustainability of public pensions and healthcare vis-à-vis ageing; and long-term care; 2) the analysis of the EU nations policy responses to the consequences of population dynamics on pension systems, healthcare and long-term care (including the role of financial markets); 3) Understanding some of the main lessons from the several European experiences on the interplay between ageing and societies’ well-being 4) Comparing, in specific cases, the European and the Chinese situations.
The training was structured in an extensive programme which covered four main parts: the first devoted to the demographic trends in EU and China, EU population ageing and its effects on the sustainability of the pension, healthcare and long-term care systems; the second mainly focused on the financial management of pension funds, investment strategies, risk control methodologies and the role of private pensions to guarantee the financial sustainability of the pension systems in a context of aging society; the third part analysed some different EU Members’ Long-term care systems and their financial sustainability, the role of technology and information platforms, the public intervention and the role of the market and third sector. Finally, the training also outlined first-hand experiences of the regional administration of Lazio (Italy) and the municipality of Marseille (France) in providing and managing services for the elderly and disabled people.
The two weeks working sessions were organized in a series of lectures made by distinguished European academicians, meetings and concrete experiences shared by high-level experts leading or working in some of the most important institutions dealing with pensions, healthcare, and long-term care, as well as practical policy insights provided by central government and regional administration officials. Overall, more than 25 international experts were engaged in the training course, mainly coming from Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic and UK. The working sessions included also time for discussion and Q&A to guarantee a full understanding of the EU experiences and compare the EU contexts with the Chinese situation.
This Training course is part of the EU-China SPR project activities, aimed at strengthening European Union-China relationships, promoting the bilateral dialogue and cooperation in the social protection field.