The purpose of the IPA Social Security Co-ordination
and Social Security Reforms Joint Programme between
the European Commission and the Council of Europe is to
continue assisting the Beneficiary Parties in the South-East Europe
(Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
and Turkey, as well as Kosovo1) in further enhancing the regional coordination of the social
security systems and facilitating institutional, legislative and
administrative reforms in the field of social protection according to
Council of Europe and EU
The Regional Programme on Social Security Reforms and Social Security
Co-ordination has started in March 2008 and will last until November 2010.
This Programme is the integral continuation of the Social Institutions Support
Joint Programme of the European Commission and the Council of Europe under the
CARDS Regional Action Programme (2004-2007).
While the SSCSSR Programme is targeting governments, politicians, civil
servants, social institutions, academia and other stakeholders dealing with
social issues, ultimately the final beneficiaries of the Programme are all
citizens and residents in the Region, in particular migrant workers and their
families, refugees, pensioners, women, minority groups, people with disabilities
or in need of general health care, etc.
The Programme design is reflecting the aspirations of the Beneficiary Parties,
as well as the objectives to be achieved throughout its implementation. Thus,
social security summer schools, workshops on pensions, health care and data
exchange, study visits will be organised as the training part of the Programme.
Speaking days and sets of studies and legal analysis will contribute to the
development of practical capacity and legislative field accordingly.
By the end of the Programme further general and specialised training for all
interlocutors working in the social security field in the Region on Council of
Europe standards in the field of social security as well as on the
principles and regulations governing the social security coordination in the EU
will be provided.
A number of individual complaints concerning the barriers on the way to
executing social security rights will be examined. This will have a direct
impact on the citizens and residents of the Region.
Through the preparation of sets of reports and legal analysis, the idea is first
to assist Beneficiary Parties with the understanding of the differences between
their national systems compared to those countries that have already joined the
EU (hence implementing the EU rules of coordination).
Steering Committee meetings along with the State Secretary Meeting and the
Ministerial Conference will provide political coordination, visibility and
guarantee the achievement of the final results.
The programme will be implemented in close cooperation with the European
Institute of Social Security (Leuven, Belgium) which will be among its main
partners involved in the Academic part of the Programme.
Other international organisations and institutions will be invited to
participate in selected activities so as to give a global picture of present
international standards in social security in general and social security
coordination in particular.
As far as the organisation structure and team proposed are concerned, the
Programme will be managed by an official administrator of the Social Policy
Department, Directorate General – Social Cohesion, of the Council of Europe.
On the regional level the Regional Programme Office in Skopje has been
established. Local Programme Officers in each Beneficiary Party have been
appointed. Local Programme Officers will be acting as local interlocutors in the
organisation of all events and act as contact persons between the Council of
Europe and the administration of the Beneficiary Parties.
1: All references to
Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall
be understood in full compliance with United Nation Security Council 1244 and
without prejudice to the status of Kosovo