The Western Balkan countries already have cooperation activities in place to enhance their capacities in social protection, labour and employment, incorporating cross-cutting approaches such as the inclusion of women and people with disabilities
The European SOCIEUX+ project, implemented together with other partners by FIIAPP, has extended its range of cooperation activities to the countries of the Western Balkans region. This includes the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia, among others.
On the occasion of this expansion, and with the objective of presenting cooperation opportunities in social protection, labour and employment policies to potential partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a kick-off meeting hastaken place in Sarajevo, organised by SOCIEUX+ and the Delegation of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The session was attended by 30 representatives of public institutions in the area, including government ministries, public employment offices, and social partners (trade unions and employers’ organisations) from both state and entity levels.
Gianluca Vannini, Head of the Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has given welcoming remarks. During his speech, he has stressed the importance of strengthening technical cooperation between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union in the fields of social protection, labour and employment, and also gave an outlook on this cooperation in relation to the accession process of the new EU Member States.
For her part, Dijana Mirvic, Deputy Team Leader of the SOCIEUX+ team, has presented the main features and the distinctive peer-to-peer approach of the project, while Marzena Breza, Technical Advisor for Social Protection, and Thierry Fiquet, Technical Advisor for Labour and Employment, have presented concrete examples of SOCIEUX+ activities in their respective fields. In addition, they have shared experiences of public technical cooperation between public staff and professionals.
Several bilateral meetings were held during the mission, including exchanges with potential partners. Further sessions will be organised in the coming months in different locations in the area.