International relations

Cooperation with foreign institutions

The CSSA organised or participated in a number of bilateral and multilateral international negotiations in 2010. Cooperation this year focused mainly on the application of the new European social security coordination regulations and preparations for the electronic exchange of social security information (EESSI) due for launch on 1.5.2012.

Working meetings between liaison bodies were among the most important events. Countries in which the CSSA has the most international clients, i.e. mainly neighbouring countries, were prioritised. CSSA representatives discussed new work procedures with experts from partner institutions and cooperation protocols were signed with the Social Insurance Agency of the Slovak Republic; the Polish insurance administration institution ZUS; the Austrian liaison body HVB; DVKA, the liaison body for sickness benefits and legal applicability in Germany; and DRV, the German liaison body for pension insurance. In addition, the first talks were held between the liaison bodies of the Czech Republic and Ireland on sickness and maternity benefits, assessment of legal applicability and social security coordination.

During the year the CSSA organised traditional consultation days for clients with its partner institutions abroad. The eighth Czech-German consultation days on pensions took place in Berlin and the ninth in České Budějovice. Both events were intended for citizens who are working or have worked in the Czech Republic and Germany and need information about the pension entitlement conditions and the procedure for claiming pensions. Representatives of the German pension insurance agency DRV also provided advice at these events. The second Czech-Austrian consultation day on pensions was staged by the CSSA in Znojmo with the participation of the Austrian pensions agency PV. These events have always met with considerable interest among clients and have been rated highly beneficial – and last year was no exception. The CSSA is planning further such events for the future.

The CSSA was visited by a Chinese delegation from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security, a body of the Chinese Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Members of the delegation were mainly interested in how the social security system is organised and administrated in the Czech Republic, with particular regard to pension insurance. In addition, the CSSA was visited by representatives from the International Monetary Fund’s mission to the Czech Republic for consultations under Article IV of the IMF Articles of Agreement. The purpose of these consultations is to assess the Czech Republic’s economic and financial development. The main topic of discussion was pension reform in the Czech Republic. Through the French embassy the chairman of France’s Pensions Advisory Council, which reports to the French prime minister, requested to be received at the CSSA. As part of his visit to the Czech Republic, Mr Hadas Lebel expressed an interest in consulting and exchanging information on pension reform with representatives of the leadership of the CSSA. At a working meeting the CSSA welcomed the chief executive of Försäkringskassan, the Swedish social insurance agency. The meeting’s agenda covered exchange of information concerning database organisation and preparations for electronic data exchange.

CSSA representatives were actively involved in the work of the Administrative Commission on Social Security and its working groups, its Technical Commission and the Council’s social affairs working group in Brussels. They also took part in an expert conference on the question of applicable legislation in Helsinki and the European Commission’s initial training on EESSI.