The Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion hosted the first regional conference on employment and social reforms with its partners from the Western Balkans and Turkey in Belgrade on 31 January 2018.
Around 100 participants from the region engaged in a dynamic discussion on the conference theme – "Boosting the Social Dimension: The contribution of economic governance to decent work and life in the Western Balkans and Turkey." They included representatives of governments, public employment services, employers’ and workers’ organisations, regional and international organisations, think tanks, academics and civil society.
Building on the bilateral discussions with the countries in the economic governance process (similar to the European Semester), the conference discussed policies for promoting access to employment for all and ensuring equal rights and decent work for all workers.
The European Pillar of Social Rights and its relevance for the region was subject of a dedicated discussion on reshaping the welfare state in the region. Overall the debates showed that a balanced articulation between economic and social agendas needs yet to be developed.