EU4DecentWork: promoting decent work and supporting the formalisation of employment in Mexico

Mexico is the second largest economy and the second largest country in terms of population in Latin America. However, social cohesion and tackling inequality remain major challenges for the country. Inequality has increased in multiple dimensions since 2018, including a decline in access to health care and food and an increase in informality and underemployment, along with a decline in women's participation in the labour market. Since 2005, Mexico has had a Gini coefficient of 0.5, showing that economic growth has been positive, but not inclusive.

As in many other countries, the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the fragility and weakness not only of public services but also of social protection institutions and programmes in general. Although the Mexican government took several measures to protect household incomes and employment, the health emergency led to a consequent reduction in social levels of trust in institutions and democracy, underlining more explicitly the need to re-evaluate the relationship between citizens and the state and, in turn, labour market and employment policies. Despite the fact that the Mexican economy is already recovering from the pandemic (OECD, 2022[1]), informality remains significant (the highest among OECD countries), with 55.7% of workers continuing to perform activities under this status. It should be noted that informal employment does not affect all population groups equally: women and youth, as well as refugees, migrants, returnees and internally displaced persons tend to be more exposed.

t is in this context that the EU4DecentWork project arises, a €2 million delegated cooperation programme funded by the EU through the Multiannual Indicative Programme for the Americas and the Caribbean 2021-27, whose main objective is to ensure decent employment for women and men in all their diversity, in particular for the most vulnerable and at-risk people. This action has a double impact: to increase the number of Mexicans affiliated to the National Social Security System and enrolled in the National Tax System, and to boost the National Labour Inspection System in Mexico.

Thus, the FIIAPP aims, through its involvement in the project, to improve access to social protection for workers in Mexico (with a particular focus on agricultural day labourers, domestic workers, migrants, refugees and returnees, displaced persons, workers exposed to high-risk activities and digital platform workers), while mainstreaming a gender perspective), support the strengthening of relevant institutions to foster labour formalisation and the transition of employers and workers from the informal to the formal economy, and promote awareness of the benefits of the transition from the informal to the formal economy among both groups, as well as among the general public.

To this end, this project - defined and oriented on the basis of needs previously identified in dialogue processes between partners and beneficiaries - applies a methodological approach based mainly on knowledge exchange between peers in public administrations, as part of a broad process of supporting reform processes, with a focus on social cohesion.

[1] OECD Economic Survey of Mexico 2022: Realising Mexico's Great Economic Potential.

  • Project data

  • Countries


  • Sector

    Empleo y Protección Social

  • Total budget

    2.000.000,00 €

  • Financer

    Comisión Europea

  • Collaborating Spanish institution

  • Date

    Start - 16/12/2023
    End - 16/12/2026

  • Partners

    Expertise France