Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 21/12/2018

Recent social policy developments in the Balkans

Four new Flash Reports prepared by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) are now available and provide information on recent social policy developments in the Balkans.

  • The disability benefit reform in Albania introduces a shift to a bio-psychological-social model, differentiating by degree of disability. The aim is to improve access, transparency and efficiency, but the re-integration of persons with disabilities into society and the labour market remains marginal in the new system.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina’s reform of social protection systems aims to better target non-contributory cash transfers and improve coverage of those most in need. However, the reform has not yet tipped the balance of public expenditure towards schemes assisting those most in need.
  • In November 2018, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Kosovo proposed a substantial reform of the existing 3-pillar pension system. A major element of the reform is to re-introduce a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) pension. The objectives of the reform include ending the layering of the general tax-financed pensions benefiting powerful interest groups by establishing universal rules and increasing the income of (“average”) pensioners.
  • The Montenegrin government aims to change the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance, to discourage early retirement and labour market exit, and improve the financial sustainability of the pension system. The proposed changes should introduce a new pensionable age, new qualifying conditions as well as a new pension formula.

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