13 September 2013
Category : Interview
The FIIAPP presented the new “SOCIEUX” project financed by the EU. The project will support member countries that request it in the design and management of social protection systems with assistance from Spanish, French and German experts. The project’s added value involves working on-demand.
We interviewed Beatriz Juanes, a Spanish expert who is part of the project’s central management team.
The Socieux project’s geographic area is quite extensive. Does any particular region require special attention?
No. The area is indeed very large, encompassing Latin America, Asia and the Middle East (countries pertaining to the instrument for development cooperation), countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and, finally, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (under the development fund), for a total of approximately 145 countries.
Each country, depending on their particular situation and conditions, will make a certain request based on their needs. But everyone has the possibility of requesting assistance. We don’t have any priority areas.
Is there any topic of special relevance that should be emphasised?
The most important area is financing, how public policies can be financed, and how to finance social protection policies. This area is currently experiencing difficulties, which is why social protection has not been further developed, due to a lack of resources and not knowing how to achieve these resources.
In other areas, priority will be given to the countries themselves. The more impoverished countries will probably request technical assistance for all types of Social Assistance. Meanwhile, middle-income countries will lean towards social security and social insurance, which is a more advanced system based on a tax system.
Are there any plans to create a pilot project that could be established in the long-term to continue on after the project’s completion?
The idea behind this project is for everything we accomplish to remain in place, as the project’s goal is to develop systems.
The project will last approximately 2 years. What do they hope to achieve in this time? And how do you think the project can help the different countries?
The member states are responsible for designing and applying their own social protection systems.
However, the idea is for the countries we work with to empower themselves in their own development. If we are able to accomplish this by the end of the project, we can be proud.
The EU’s intention is for this project to provide assistance to the beneficiaries, not to do things for them. The goal is for the beneficiaries to learn how to be self-sufficient.
The project works on demand, but how can these requests be managed when anyone can request assistance?
There is a simple form to organise the requests. But each assistance request must comply with certain requirements in order for an action plan to be developed. There are formal requirements – for example, the institution must be public – and content requirements – for example, it must be in line with the policies of the European Union.
Not all requests will be valid, and we do not want to encourage requests without due cause. It is important for the request to be in line with the country’s social protection policies and avoid overlapping with other ongoing programmes.
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