EU offers China advice on welfare, labour laws

( dpa )- British experts are advising Chinese officials on how to minimise the social impact of closing down unproductive mines. In Shanghai, the local pension system is largely based on Sweden's.

When it comes to employment and social affairs issues, experts from the continent that invented the modern welfare state believe they have plenty to offer to China.

"We want to help China develop a modern system of social protection," EU Commissioner Vladimir Spidla told Deutsche Presse - Agentur dpa ahead of his departure for a three-day visit to Shanghai on Friday.

During his visit Spidla , a Czech who holds the employment and social affairs portfolio, planned to share his views on labour relations and social security and sign a formal agreement with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the country's top think tank in this field.

While China is free to pick and choose policy ideas from Japan, the United States or any other nation, experts in Brussels say the EU is especially well-positioned to offer advice.

In recent years, for instance, the EU has helped a number of nations make the shift from a planned to a free market economy (10 of the 12 countries which have joined since 2004 were once under communist rule).

And other areas where the EU sees itself as having positive track records include managing diversity and securing social cohesion.

"The EU and China both want to combine social and economic progress. And while they have 31 provinces, we have 27 member states," one EU official noted.

Despite or perhaps because of its dazzling economic growth record, China is now suffering from many of the problems that Europe has spent years trying to deal with.

One concerns health and safety in the workplace.

More than 101,000 people died in work-related accidents in China in 2007. And though 10 per cent down on the previous year, the figure provided by the head of the State Administration of Work Safety is considered "unacceptably high" by Chinese officials.

Meanwhile, the government has spent billions of renminbis to improve safety in its coal mines, considered among the most dangerous in the world.

Another huge problem that China is only now beginning to confront - and which Europe knows plenty about - is an ageing population.

As a result of its "one family, one child" policy and of the fact that richer Chinese now live longer, the life expectancy rate of Chinese men has now risen to 71.3 years, compared with 63.2 years in India.

The EU has so far provided 20 million euros (28.8 million dollars) in funds, as well as technical assistance and training of civil servants, to help China modernize its pension system.

Such help is not entirely free of self-interest, however. If Chinese workers were granted better pensions and more rights, for instance, this would limit "social dumping" - a term used to describe a country's ability to export cheap products by enforcing only weak labour standards.

Improving working and social conditions in China, Spidla said, is "in our own interest. It is the best way to defend ourselves from social dumping."

Turkey sees growth in number of vehicles in February
Turkey sees growth in number of vehicles in February
Turkey discloses cargo transshipment via Port of Zonguldak
Turkey discloses cargo transshipment via Port of Zonguldak
Georgia bans movement of buses in self-governing cities and administrative regions
Georgia bans movement of buses in self-governing cities and administrative regions
Loading Bars
UNICEF: One of best decisions amid threat of coronavirus is to stay at home
Exports via customs of Iran's Mazandaran province up
Turkmenistan approves new procedure for conducting exchange trades
Iran unable to slow down coronavirus infection spread
Turkey sees growth in number of vehicles in February
Azerbaijani parliament approves agreements signed by government with several countries
Azerbaijani oil prices for March 23-27
Minister: No problems with supply of bread in Georgia
Export of fruits, nuts from Georgia up in January-February 2020
Turkey urges int’l organizations to boycott so-called "election" in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh
China helps Uzbekistan to fight coronavirus
Kazakhstan's biggest oil transporting company eyes buying locally-made equipment
Volume of cargo transshipment via Turkish Port of Mersin disclosed
Coronavirus cases increase in Georgia
Turkey’s state water administration opens tender to rent vehicles
Azerbaijan extends benefit terms for contributions to mandatory health insurance for non-oil sector employees
Iran talks production of equipment in its oil sector
Turkey's municipality attracts foreign insurers via tender
Turkish university opens tender to attract foreign IT companies
Turkmen company masters production of nonwoven fabric
Azerbaijan extends terms for use of mandatory health insurance
Pakistan's National Commission for Human Rights condemns so-called "parliamentary and presidential elections" in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh
SOCAR: No restrictions on fuel sale in Azerbaijan
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's precious metals market
Turkey discloses cargo transshipment via Port of Zonguldak
South Korea to pay families hundreds of dollars to ease coronavirus impact
Iran's exports to African countries announced
Export volume of startup companies via Iran's Markazi Province announced
Iran announces its copper exports
Uzbekistan's total external debt increases
Georgia bans movement of buses in self-governing cities and administrative regions
Turkey discloses cargo transshipment via Port of Samsun in January-February 2020
Analyst: Forecast for oil prices depends on coronavirus spread
Azerbaijan Insurers Association: insurance community must promptly prepare plan for transition to distant operation mode
Kazakhstan’s oil & gas company opens tender to buy pumps
Scientific sphere switches to digital mode in Turkmenistan
Passenger trains operating to Kazakhstan’s Atyrau to be suspended over coronavirus fears
Charter flight to bring Georgian citizen from Bulgaria
Next plenary meeting of spring session of Azerbaijani Parliament kicks off
Iran's exports through Golestan customs announced
Review of oil, gas operations in Azerbaijan in January-February 2020
Foreign investments in Iran's Fars province increase
Uzbekneftegaz contunues to increase gas production of Uzbekistan
Georgia increases import of wood, furniture from Turkey
Fatal work accident occurs along Balkan Stream route
COVID-19 cases reach 97 in Georgia
Turkmen state concern announces tender to purchase material and technical resources
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
No direct financial loss suffered from postponing of F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
US allocates funds to Georgia amid COVID-19 pandemic
Iranian currency rates for March 30
Georgia confirms new case of coronavirus
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Internal Affairs lists facilities suspending work during quarantine
Tender to purchase material and technical resources opens in Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan sees increase in coronavirus cases
Iran's chemical, petrochemical industry increases production
More coronavirus cases detected in Kazakhstan
Production not to stop in Iran amid Coronavirus
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times
MP: Massive donations to Azerbaijan’s Fund to Support Fight against Coronavirus shows national solidarity
Number of coronavirus cases in Germany rises to 57,298
Iranian government pays loan to damaged businesses
China unexpectedly cuts reverse repo rate by most in five years to support virus-hit economy
VISA considering Azerbaijan as financial market open to innovations
Israeli PM Netanyahu’s aide tests positive for coronavirus
South Korea coronavirus cases rise steadily, more financial aid expected
Trump extends national social distancing guidelines to April 30
Vietnam PM asks major cities to prepare for lockdown to stop virus
Trudeau continues self-isolating after his wife's recovery from COVID-19
5.1-magnitude quake hits Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Egypt condemns Yemeni Houthis' missile attacks on Saudi cities
France reports 2,599 new coronavirus cases, 292 additional deaths
Turkey's COVID-19 cases rise to 9,217, death toll hits 131
All Moscow’s residents to stay in home self-isolation from Monday
Somali army kills 142 al-Shabab militants during operation
Syria reports 1st death case of COVID-19
Coronavirus deaths fall again in Italy
EIA decreases previously forecast oil extraction volume in Kazakhstan for 2020
Brunei reports 6 new cases of COVID-19, 126 in total
Nearly 20,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed in UK
Saudi Arabia expands lockdown as coronavirus death toll doubles
Spain’s coronavirus death toll rises by 838 overnight to 6,528
Saudi intercepts missiles in attacks claimed by Yemen's Houthis
Herbal medicine being tested for treatment of coronavirus in Iran
VISA considering Azerbaijan as financial market open to innovations
Permanent representative: PACE leadership must change approach periodically demonstrated in relation to Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan's Atyrau to close for quarantine to battle coronavirus spread
Enterprises in Iran's industrial parks restore production
Azerbaijan confirms 27 more coronavirus cases
Expert: Impact of global shocks on Azerbaijan's economy and society is minimal
Azerbaijan's Central Bank attracts funds
Turkey reveals volume of cargo transshipment from France through its ports
Azerbaijan extends deadlines for paying taxes and filing declarations
Production of some Iranian industrial products decreases
Azerbaijani company to increase disinfectant production
Iran's Ministry of Industry, Mines & Trade announces volume of foreign investments
Volume of cargo transshipment through Turkish port of Tekirdag announced
Turkey reveals volume of cargo transshipment from Morocco through its ports
Management Union of Medical Territorial Units: Epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan under control
Total amount of donations to Azerbaijan’s Fund to Support Fight against Coronavirus disclosed
All news