Social Protection EU Expertise in Development Cooperation - SOCIEUX

Social Protection EU Expertise in Development Cooperation - SOCIEUX


SOCIEUX  - Social Protection European Union Expertise in Development Cooperation - is a technical assistance facility which has been set up by the European Commission's Directorate General for Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid - in order to support the efforts of partner countries to better design and manage their social protection systems. Its initial implementation period is 2013 – 2016.

SOCIEUX works through making European expertise available quickly and with minimal complications. It draws on the public mandated bodies and administrations of European Member States to provide expert practitioners who can be rapidly mobilised for short-term peer-to-peer assignments.

It can also support South-South and triangular cooperation through deploying practitioners from the administrations of partner countries and from non-governmental organisations.

SOCIEUX is a demand-driven instrument. Partner countries submit requests for assistance in designing and delivering social protection systems.

SOCIEUX offers support in all social protection areas, including social insurance, social assistance, access to basic social services and monitoring and evaluations systems.

SOCIEUX is now active in Latin-America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe. Please download our Newsletter for further information:

SOCIEUX in Action - Newsletter issue 1 (available in English, French & Spanish)



Only 20% of people in the world have access to adequate social protection. In the Agenda for Change  the European Union commits itself to supporting social protection to support people's ability to participate in, and benefit from wealth and job creation.

SOCIEUX, which stands for Social Protection European Union Expertise in Development Cooperation, is a fruit of this commitment, and follows the 2012 European Commission Communication on Social Protection in European Union Development Cooperation, which recommended the development of new tools to enable rapid demand-driven deployment of expert practitioners both from Europe and from relevant third countries within a South-South or triangular cooperation paradigm.

SOCIEUX is a technical assistance facility under the European Union thematic programme Investing in People. SOCIEUX will work on a basis of providing short-term expertise primarily from practitioners within EU Member States' public administrations and mandated bodies. Practitioners from low and middle income partner countries' public administrations and mandated bodies can also be mobilised as experts to bring added value through south-south and triangular cooperation.

The European Union supports the development of nationally owned social protection systems as reflected in the International Labour Organisation Recommendation 202 of 2012 on "National Floors of Social Protection". SOCIEUX is likewise fully committed to this approach, which is also reflected through the European Commission's Communicationon the post 20125 Agenda A Decent Life for All: Ending poverty and giving the world a sustainable future.



Social protection lies at the heart of the European social model, committed to providing universal access to social protection in its Member States, with an immense variety of systems and practices. This experience awards a unique role to the EU's development cooperation in supporting social protection by means of capacity building and policy advice in support of partner countries.

The EU commitment to the development of inclusive, nationally owned social protection policies and programmes in partner countries is confirmed through the very many geographically and/or thematically focused instruments, programmes, projects, policy dialogues the EU is involved in. The EU support provided through SOCIEUX is originated from the Communication on Social Protection in EU Development Cooperation (August 2012) and the subsequent Council Conclusions (15 October 2012), which state that the EU:

  • will encourage partner countries to include in their national policies the provision of higher levels of security;
  • will make use of technical assistance tools to enable the rapid deployment and mobilisation of expert practitioners, including South-South and triangular cooperation;
  • considers capacity building and empowerment of social protection practitioners essential.


  • recognises the impact of social protection in reducing poverty and vulnerability;
  • supports the efforts of partner governments in promoting inclusive and sustainable social protection systems;
  • complements the efforts made through other European Union initiatives.




SOCIEUX is financed and implemented by the European Commission as part of the thematic programme Investing in People of EuropeAid.

SOCIEUX is governed by a Programme Steering Committee composed of members of the European Commission and a Consortium of partners form the EU Member States working in social protection and international cooperation:

Moreover, several administrations and bodies of EU Member States and international organisations are acting as supporting institutions of SOCIEUX.


What we do

Which areas are covered by SOCIEUX?

Although social protection coverage is increasing in developing countries, further expansion remains a challenge, due to formal participation in the formal economy, weak domestic resource mobilisation and inadequate fiscal policy.

SOCIEUX offers support in all social protection areas to address these and other challenges, including:

  • social insurance: contributory pensions, health, accident, unemployment protection;
  • social assistance: cash transfer programmes, income guarantee schemes, social pensions and other old age benefits, child and the disabled support grants, public works, employment guarantee schemes, together with the issues of targeting and conditionalities;
  • access to basic social services: education, health and employment;
  • financing of social protection systems;
  • monitoring and evaluations systems, statistics and registration systems.


What kind of activities does SOCIEUX implement?

SOCIEUX implements two types of activities:

  • analytical activities aimed at addressing structural weaknesses in partner institutions, such as assist in designing legislation or policy frameworks;
  • specific activities aimed at ad hoc transfer of know-how and expertise to strengthen existing capacities or respond to punctual needs such as support for training, awareness raising.

Although approaches such as study visits to European Union and other countries and remote support can also be considered, the programme is geared towards activities that take place within the beneficiary country. Some types of intervention could be:

  • institutional assessments;
  • support in drafting legislation and strategies;
  • screening and reviews of strategic documents and programmes;
  • seminars, roundtable discussions;
  • direct and peer to peer approaches;
  • workshops: technical trainings, train the trainer, training needs analysis
  • study visits

SOCIEUX technical assistance interventions are composed of several short-term activities each of which can range from one to two weeks. The number of activities per intervention will vary depending on the need for assistance.


How it works

SOCIEUX is a demand-driven facility through which partner countries are invited to submit requests for assistance. The SOCIEUX team then fine tunes the requests in collaboration with the requesting government authorities and the local EU Delegation.

The SOCIEUX team will respond quickly to requests made by partner institutions and coordinate with the partner country in order to:

  • rapidly identify the priority areas for assistance;
  • develop a detailed action plan;
  • recruit and mobilise the experts, mainly from EU Member States;
  • implement a tailored assistance action;
  • evaluate achievements;
  • ensure further support and follow-up.


SOCIEUX aims to identify suitable social protection experts in public administrations and the mandated bodies of EU Member States and partner countries who can engage with our project as short term experts.

The experts mobilised by SOCIEUX will provide technical assistance from preparation to post-delivery follow-up of actions. The SOCIEUX team assists experts to fulfil their assignments by supporting and advising on the preparation of background materials prior to meetings, translating documents, etc.

Interested social protection experts from EU Member States’ and partner countries’ public administrations or mandated bodies are invited to contact the programme team or send their application by email, letter or fax.

The application requires the candidate to complete the short SOCIEUX Expert Application Form where the expert can specify their name, position, contact details and CV (indicatively, the Europass CV template can be used).

Please download the Guide for Experts (below) which provides information about the role of experts within SOCIEUX’s technical assistance actions, as well as how to apply as a potential expert.

SOCIEUX requires qualified and committed experts who can deliver relevant expertise in social protection and share their prior experience. Experts are selected in a non-discriminatory and transparent procedure.

SOCIEUX Guide for Experts (English) Français Español Português

SOCIEUX Expert Application Form

SOCIEUX mainly targets partner countries’ public authorities and mandated bodies in charge of social protection at a national and regional level. Potential partner countries are low-income and middle-income countries from the following regions of the world:

Interested partners are invited to send their requests by e-mail, letter or fax. The requests should specify the name, position and contact details of the applicant and the government body or institution they represent, together with a brief outline of the area of assistance, the identified needs and a suggeted action plan.

Please download the Guide for Partner Country Institutions (below) which provides detailed information on how partner institutions may request assistance under SOCIEUX and the financial and logistical aspects of the organisation of activities.

SOCIEUX Guide for Partner Country Institutions (available in English, French, Spanish & Portuguese)

SOCIEUX Request Form for Partner Country Institutions(available in English, French, Spanish & Portuguese)




Social Protection European Union Expertise in Development Cooperation

Address and Contact


Social Protection European Union Expertise in Development Cooperation

Avenue Paul Deschanel 62, 1030 Brussels, Belgium

Tel.: +32 (0) 2 5884884

Fax.: +32 (0) 2 5884880