European Union and ILO

Improving China’s Institutional Capacity towards Universal Social Protection (Phase 2)

The Project is financed by the European Union under the “Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI).”

A woman worker in China. © Shutterstock


The EU/China collaboration in the area of social security has been a long term and important contribution for the enhancement of social security in China and a privileged space for exchanges between China and EU experts and institutions. Most recently, the Project “Improving China’s institutional capacity towards universal social protection” funded by EU offered the opportunity to combine the EU expertise and experience, with the ILO global expertise, tools and experience, to support China in its efforts to achieving a universal, adequate and sustainable social security system. With continuous financial support by EU, the Project continues and enters into its second phase.

The national 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) of China sets the goal of improving the multi-tier social security system that covers everyone, coordinates between urban and rural areas, and is equitable, unified and sustainable. The 14th FYP of MOHRSS further elaborates the measures to be taken. Priorities include improvements in the five aspects: universal social security coverage, social security system, adjustment mechanism of social security benefits, supervision mechanism, and social security administration and services.

The Project Phase 2 will support China in their priority areas of work by policy dialogues, technical studies and discussions, training, knowledge and experience sharing in particular engaging EU expertise.


Overall objective

Support the reform of China’s national policies regarding social standards, including the strengthening of its social protection system and its alignment with international standards.

This will also enhance the EU-China dialogues and cooperation on employment, social affairs and inclusion, in line with the external dimension of European Pillar of Social Rights and its action plan and the Commission’s Communication on Decent Work Worldwide (2022).

Specific objectives
  • Chinese Social Protection System improved, in line with ILO and international standards, with an emphasis on the development of universal social security by the Chinese authorities.
  • Support to the reform process by providing information on the EU approach and sharing global, particularly EU, expertise, with Chinese policy makers in the field of social security, pensions and platform workers.
  • Promotion of China’s ratification of relevant international conventions.

Key activities

  • Capacity building training programmes for actuarial staff of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) and its provincial branches
  • Technical analysis and policy recommendations on improving the adequacy, sustainability and coverage of the pension and unemployment insurance system in China, formulated in consultation with the government and social partners and benefiting from EU experience
  • Papers and recommendations on the adaptation of social protection to make it responsive to climate change
  • Joint research on international best practices on key themes affecting the future of social security, with a particular focus on the EU experiences
  • Promotion of exchange between Chinese experts and EU member states through study visits and international conferences
  • Knowledge sharing events on international labour standards (ILS), including the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) and other relevant social security related ILS

Project partners

The Project will be implemented in collaboration with MOHRSS, the leading counterpart, All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) and China Enterprise Confederation (CEC). It will also collaborate with Chinese and international academics in carrying out specific studies.

For further information please contact:

Rubén Vicente Andrés
Project Manager