The Social Policies area facilitated the exchange between Argentine officials and European experts on labour and social security policies implemented in Europe to tackle the economic and social crisis related to COVID-19.
On 25 March, the EUROsociAL Programme organised an information exchange with Argentina about labour and social security policies implemented in Europe to tackle the economic and social crisis related to COVID-19. The following took part in the online meeting: Miguel Baelo, chief of staff at the Argentine Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security; Luis Bulit Goñi, secretary for social security; Eduardo Lepore; harmonisation director; Fabio Boscherini, Italian expert on labour market policies; Luca Pierantoni, head of cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union in Argentina; and Francesco Chiodi and Virginia Tedeschi from EUROsociAL+ Social Policies.
The Ministry of Labour, in coordination with ministries from the economic and social area, is formulating and implementing exceptional measures aimed at sustaining the income of workers, at the same time as trying to preserve work relations and access for family groups to social security. In this sense, it was interested in learning about the different policies that are being implemented in Europe regarding the tackling of the emergency to alleviate the economic effects of the health measures, mainly those related to sustaining jobs and guaranteeing income.
The Government of Argentina issued Decree No. 310/2020 that establishes the creation of an Emergency Family Income (IFE) with the objective of sustaining the economy of people in jobs in precarious sectors of employment, small taxpayers, and domestic workers working for individuals affected by the health emergency. Emergency Family Income consists of an exceptional non-contributory monetary benefit intended to compensate for the loss or serious decrease in the income of people affected by the health emergency.
The online dialogue allowed the measure to be analysed in the light of the Italian experience to take into account some useful features for regulation. Along these same lines, the alignment of the quarantine and monitoring periods with the disease was also analysed, for the purposes of the economic treatment provided for by the legislation.
Since 2018, EUROsociAL+ has been accompanying the Social Security Secretariat of the Ministry of Labour in updating the pension system through technical assistance and the mobilisation of experts and public officials from various countries, including Italy and Belgium. This climate of trust generates a favourable framework within which to continue supporting the authorities in the definition of their policies.
Luis Bulit Goñi, Argentina’s Social Security secretary, said that “it was really a great experience to have been able to share with you the experiences with which Social Security institutions on both sides of the ocean are tackling the challenge of this health crisis affecting our society, especially the most vulnerable. But it has also been great to see that the paradigms on which we are building public policy tools are similar.”
The set of measures that the country has been implementing in social, economic and labour matters, along with such vast European experience, encourages establishing a space for periodic online dialogue with other countries in Europe and Latin America to transfer knowledge, as well as identify responses appropriate to the economic effects of the pandemic.