News Archive

Greater engagement of social partners in tackling undeclared work in the Western Balkans is much needed, authorities and social partners agree
19 Apr 2021

Sarajevo – “The Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform 2 (ESAP 2) project aims to support regional cooperation among the Western Balkan (WB) economies in transforming undeclared work into declared work, pursuing a holistic integrated strategic ...


Balance between prevention and deterrence one of key elements for successful, structured approach to formalizing undeclared work
16 Apr 2021

Sarajevo – “COVID 19 pandemic introduced many new challenges to labour markets globally and in Western Balkans, as this region has low activity and employment rates on one hand and high rates of informal work on the other. Current times are very challenging and the pandemic is impacting ...


Bregu: Instead of creating policies FOR youth we believe in co-creating policies WITH youth
14 Dec 2020

Sarajevo/Tirana/Brussels - “Youth makes 21% of Western Balkans population. If we know that youth unemployment in the Western Balkans is over 35%; that it takes around 2 years for a young person to land the job after the school; that 25% of youth are not in employment, education and training; ...


Bregu: Economic integration among the Western Balkans 6, and with the EU, is the most important in this moment
01 Oct 2020

Tirana/Sarajevo – “I believe that closer relations in the process of European integration of the region, especially economic integration among the Western Balkans (WB) 6, and with the EU, are the most important in this moment. Because regional economic integration of the WB is not ...


Moving Away from “Reducing Undeclared Work” Approach to “Transforming It into Declared Work” in the Western Balkans
30 Sep 2020

Sarajevo – “Informal economy is a chronic problem of many economies, Western Balkans’ in particular, as estimates show that up to 30% of the employed persons in the region work undeclared. Today’s meeting is about to explore ways on how all institutions in charge of ...


Youth Unemployment in the Western Balkans: Youth is Crucial in Designing of Employment Policies
03 Jul 2020

RCC’s Western Balkans Youth Lab and Employment and Social Affairs Platform Projects organized webinar tackling policymaking and youth unemployment in the region Sarajevo – “Numerous stories of unemployed young people across the region who want the leave in pursuit of a job and better ...


Bregu: It is up to the region to retain commitment to cooperation and bring forth tangible progress to citizens
25 Jun 2020

Tirana/Sarajevo/Prishtina – The two meetings have been held today within the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) - the meeting of the SEECP Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the RCC Annual Meeting, which RCC co-organised with the outgoing Kosovo SEECP Chairmanship-in-Office ...


Bregu: Cooperation is the only blueprint that holds the promise of ‘Stronger Together’
24 Jun 2020

Sarajevo – “The regional cooperation continues to grow in prominence with an overwhelming majority of citizens supportive of its role in improving the political, economic and security situation in their home economies - 77%, and 65% of them believes that what brings WB citizens together ...


The Shape of the Things to Come - Presentation of Balkan Barometer 2020
23 Jun 2020

Sarajevo – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) will present 2020 edition of Balkan Barometer on Wednesday 24 June 2020. This annual public and business opinion survey of the RCC examines the perception and expectations on life and work, prevalent socio-economic and political trends & ...


ESAP 2: Undeclared work in the Western Balkans needs to be formalized, to increase both public revenues and social security
12 Jun 2020

Sarajevo – “The global pandemic caused by the COVID 19 virus has had a profound impact on businesses and workers, as well as economies across the Western Balkans. The undeclared workers, however, have been disproportionately affected since they generally work in low productivity jobs ...


Bregu: Pandemic created a common awareness that at least for now humankind takes precedence over politics and disputes
14 May 2020

Sarajevo – “For all its aggressiveness, the COVID-19 crisis also offers glimmers of hope. It has connected Western Balkans even more, this time in a fight against an invisible enemy. It has persuaded us that cooperation should be resilient. It has created a common awareness that at least ...


Bregu: No brilliant regional plan can succeed without strong political leadership and fully synchronized EU- WB trajectories
06 May 2020

Sarajevo/Tirana/Zagreb - Now, almost 4 years after we initiated the work on Regional Economic Area (REA) the region is ready to embark on the next phase of deepening regional economic cooperation assure the WB6 economies to have ownership first, and bringing the region closer to the EU internal ...


RCC WE campaign continues with young Western Balkans’ women studying science, technology, engineering, mathematics
19 Mar 2020

Sarajevo – Ivana Todorovska is a smart hard-working young woman, a student of Analytical Biochemistry at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Skopje. Ivana’s message to all of us, young women and girls in particular, is that although it is very hard to become a scientist, ...


RCC’s ‘’WE’’ campaign: Don’t be afraid to dream and to make your dreams come true!
08 Mar 2020

Sarajevo – “We are in the 3rd decade of 21st century and yet the tales of successful business women are not frequent but rather breaking news. In the Western Balkans even more so as only 1 in 5 women owns a business. And not only that – employment rate of women in the region in 2018 was ...


Bregu: Brain drain the biggest challenge of this decade - Western Balkans working age population declined by more than 400,000 in past 5 years
28 Jan 2020

Sarajevo – “More than 700 000 jobs have been added to the workforce during the past seven years and unemployment has moved for almost a quarter (23%) to around 16%, across the region. They say a tide lifts all boats, large and small. However, not everybody benefited from these economic and ...


16 New Grants for Tourism Development and Promotion in Western Balkans Awarded by RCC, EU
22 Nov 2019

Durres – “Today, with presenting the results of the completed 12 and awarding 16 new grants for the tourism development and promotion in the Western Balkans, we are showing you a part of the success story from this region, and it is not a success of policy-making or GDP but of the people. ...


Via Dinarica just keeps getting better
07 Nov 2019

It is 11 o’clock on an idle Monday and about to start raining in a tiny village of Rekë e Allagës in Rugova Mountain, all green with pine trees. Fetije Nikiqi is well under way to prepare cheese pie in a wooden stove while Hozefa Indorewala looks to the sky from the porch thinking just how ...


Low women employment and labour market skills mismatch in Western Balkans call for stronger cooperation
05 Nov 2019

Istanbul – “The women unemployment in the Western Balkans is 60%. Analyses show a big mismatch in the labour market(s) between the demands and offered sets of skills and knowledge. Almost half of the students in the region enrol into the Humanities, Social Sciences and Business study ...


RCC: Western Balkans pay for undeclared work - with significant portion of public revenues, lack of fair competition and decent working conditions
15 Oct 2019

Sarajevo – “Informal employment is work that is legal in itself but not declared to the authorities for tax, social security and/or labour law purposes. As such, it plays an important role in all Western Balkan economies, as widespread informality deprives governments of potential tax revenue, ...


Bregu: RCC keen to embark on any challenges with full support of regional and EU partners - we don’t need to loose time in order to find it again
08 Jul 2019

Sarajevo – „A year behind us was a dynamic one and we are prepared to continue just as dynamic in the next one. We, at the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) are ready and keen to embark on any challenges ahead of us but we cannot do it without the full support of our regional and European ...


Bregu: Western Balkan should embark on serious, wide-ranging facilitation agenda, including movement of people, goods, services and capital
05 Jul 2019

  Poznan – “Two years after the Western Balkans’ (WB) Prime Ministers endorsed the Multi-annual Action Plan for the Regional Economic Area (MAP REA) in Trieste the region has not fully embraced the opportunities offered by the Regional Economic Area. Flows of goods, services, ...


Bregu: Western Balkans needs to fully embrace and capitalize on the Regional Economic Area
04 Jul 2019

Poznan – “Two years since the endorsement of Multi-annual Action plan on Regional Economic Area (MAP REA) in Trieste and one year since London our region can show only a mixed track record at best. Western Balkans (WB) did not fully embrace Regional Economic Area (REA) and as a result ...


Bregu: Balkan Barometer 2019 clearly shows public and business appreciation of regional cooperation and need to strengthen it
04 Jul 2019

Poznan – “There's no better way to stress the need for stepping up the regional cooperation than quoting the citizens and businesses of the Western Balkans (WB) who overwhelmingly, with 74% and 67% respectively, believe in regional cooperation. The recent success with dropping of roaming ...


Economic growth goes hand in hand with human capital development – investment in education must increase
14 Jun 2019

Luxemburg – “Years in a row our opinion survey Balkan Barometer shows that unemployment is the biggest concern for 67% of the citizens in the Western Balkans (WB), and our alarms should have already gone off, triggering adequate reactions. This region has talent everywhere but their skills ...


RCC’s ESAP: Share of informal employment in Western Balkans ranges from 18 to 33% - holistic approach necessary to tackle this issue
26 Apr 2019

Sarajevo – “Share of informal/undeclared employment in the region varies from 18,1% in Republic of North Macedonia to 33% in Montenegro1 ,”said Nand Shani, Team Leader of the Regional Cooperation (RCC)’s Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP). Tackling this widespread ...


RCC Secretary General Bregu calls for more efficient future action and better communication with the citizens
21 Mar 2019

Sarajevo – Coordination Board of the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) South East Europe’s growth Strategy (SEE 2020) has met in Sarajevo today, to reflect on the implementation results, identify potential action synergies for further cooperation as well as post-2020 regional priorities ...


Listen to women – they are the key to unlocking the economic potential of this region
08 Mar 2019

Sarajevo - Instead of happy 8th of March, the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is introducing the idea of the “WE”, starting with Nada Markovic, a pioneer of the first female cooperative in Bosnia and Hercegovina. 


On-the-job-training programme important for strengthening the Western Balkans labour market outcomes
18 Jan 2019

Western Balkans’ Public Employment Services and Labour Ministries peers review on-the-job training programmes and practices Tirana – Representatives of Public Employment Services (PES) and Ministries of Labour from the Western Balkans economies gathered in Tirana for a 2-day regional ...


More jobs and changed approach to employment of Roma community in the enlargement region necessary to combat poverty and social dependence
10 Dec 2018

Budapest - Regional conference on innovative approaches to employment of Roma, jointly organized by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)’s projects Roma Integration 2020 and Employment and Social Affairs Platform (EASP), and Roma Education Fund (REF) started in Budapest today. 


RCC ESAP: Internship Programmes in focus of Regional Peer Review Workshop in Skopje
27 Nov 2018

Skopje – A two-day a regional peer review workshop focusing on internship programmes ended in Skopje today. The Workshop was organised by the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) project. 


RCC ESAP: Supporting exchange of experience on development and implementation of sector budget support
29 Oct 2018

Skopje – Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) project of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) supported the visit of the Albanian delegation from the Ministry of Economy and Finance to Skopje today.


RCC hosts the third meeting of MAP REA Coordinators from Western Balkan Six
09 Oct 2018

Brussels – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) hosted the 3rd meeting of Coordinators of Multi-Annual Action Plan (MAP) on Regional Economic Area (REA) in Western Balkan Six (WB6), discussing the implementation results, next milestones, the most pressing challenges and reiterating commitments, ...


Western Balkan Six open negotiations on mutual recognition of professional qualifications of doctors of medicine, dentists, architects and civil engineers
08 Oct 2018

Brussels – The Western Balkans began the negotiations on mutual recognition of professional qualifications of doctors of medicine, dentists, architects and civil engineers at the 1st meeting of Lead Negotiators convened by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) in Brussels today. 


Local Employment Partnerships in Focus of Regional Peer Review Workshop
05 Oct 2018

Sarajevo/Tesanj/Prnjavor - Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) project of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) organised a regional 3-day Workshop on Local Employment Partnerships, which started in Sarajevo and continued with field visits to municipalities of Tesanj and ...


Pristina: ESAP helps Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to develop its monitoring framework
31 Jul 2018

Pristina – In the period April-July 2018, the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) through its Employment and Social Affairs Platform Project (ESAP) helped the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Kosovo* to develop the strategy monitoring tools and increase their capacity to plan ...


RCC's ESAP: Albanian Public Employment Service visits their colleagues in Pristina
12 Jul 2018

Pristina – Upon request of the representatives of the Albanian Public Employment Service (PES), the Regional Cooperation Council's (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) project, within its technical assistance facility, took the Albanian PES on a study visit to their PES ...


RCC’s Balkan Barometer 2018: Satisfaction of people and businesses on overall situation in the region is steadily improving
06 Jul 2018

Brussels – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) revealed results of 2018 edition of the Balkan Barometer (BB), an annual survey of citizens and business communities’ opinion on the situation in the region, in Brussels today. The main findings of the survey show that satisfaction of ...


Major milestone in SEE 2020 Strategy implementation: Western Balkans ADDS more than 600 000 JOBS
05 Jul 2018

Brussels – Governing Board of the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) South East Europe 2020 Strategy (SEE 2020) endorsed the 2018 Annual Report on Strategy’s implementation (ARI), at its fifth meeting held in Brussels today, in the eve of the presentation of the RCC’s Balkan barometer ...


RCC to present SEE2020 strategy implementation results and its Balkan Barometer 2018 this week in Brussels
03 Jul 2018

Brussels – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is to present the implementation results of the region’s growth strategy, South East Europe 2020 (SEE2020) on 5 July 2018 in Brussels, and day after, on 6 July also in Brussels, the RCC will reveal the results of its 4th edition of the public ...


Western Balkans endorses key principles on recognition of academic qualifications
26 Jun 2018

Brussels – Ministers in charge of education from the Western Balkan economies endorsed a set of key principles on automatic recognition of academic qualifications in the region at the 7th Ministerial meeting of the Western Balkans Platforms on Education and Training & Research and Innovation, ...


Brussels: RCC's ESAP presents Western Balkans employment and labour market trends and developments
20 Jun 2018

Brussels – Regional Cooperation Council' s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) Project presented in Brussels today employment and labour market trends and developments in the Western Balkans (WB). The policy discussion gathered representatives of WB Ministries of Labour and ...


RCC’s Employment and Social Affairs Platform Project: Joint actions to enhance performance and promote mutual learning among Western Balkans Ministries of Labour and Public Employment Services agreed
19 Jun 2018

Brussels - Representatives of the Western Balkans (WB) Ministries of Labour and Public Employment Services (PES) met in Brussels today, within the framework of the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform Project (ESAP), to discuss main trends and ...


RCC’s ESAP Project and Western Balkans’ Public Employment Services invited to present their joint work at Annual Meeting of the EU PES Network
08 Jun 2018

Sofia – Western Balkan’s Public Employment Services (PES) gathered around Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) Project were, for the first time ever, invited to participate as observers in a 9th Annual Meeting of the European Union’s  ...


Peers from Ministries' of Labour and PES from the region talk about youth employment
31 May 2018

Herceg Novi – Representatives of the Ministries of Labour and Public Employment Services (PES) offices from the Western Balkan (WB) economies together with relevant regional and international experts in the field, shared experiences and discussed youth employment programmes at the regional peer-review ...


RCC Presents Preliminary Findings of the SEE 2020 Draft Annual Implementation Report to Monitoring Committee
18 May 2018

Podgorica - Monitoring Committee of the South East Europe 2020 (SEE 2020) Strategy met for the 6th time, under auspice of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), in Podgorica today, to discuss and provide comments on the Strategy’s early draft Annual Implementation Report (ARI).


RCC at the Sofia Western Balkans Summit: Regional Cooperation Council proliferated regional cooperation across all sectors
17 May 2018

Sofia – The Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Goran Svilanovic, took part at the EU-Western Balkans Summit hosted by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, in Sofia today. The Summit is dedicated to strengthen links between the EU and the Western Balkans in ...


RCC’s ESAP helps Employment Agency in Pristina in drafting their Rules of Procedure
30 Apr 2018

Pristina – During a two months period at the beginning of 2018, the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform Project (ESAP) provided expert support in drafting the rules of procedure of the Advisory Board of the newly established Employment Agency ...


RCC’s ESAP help Montenegro Employment Agency in upgrading their Information Technology System
23 Apr 2018

Podgorica – The Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform Project (ESAP)provided technical assistance to the Employment Agency of Montenegro in upgrading the Information Technology System in accordance with the European Employment Service (EURES) requirements.


ESAP: Regional Workshop on Employment of Persons with Disabilities in the Western Balkans
20 Apr 2018

Belgrade – The Regional Workshop on Employment of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in the Western Balkans (WB), which was held in Belgrade on 19-20 April 2018, was organised jointly in the framework of two regional projects: Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs ...


ESAP: Self-employment programmes in the Western Balkans discussed in Pristina
12 Apr 2018

Prishtina – Representatives of Ministries of Labour and Public Employment Services (PES) from the Western Balkans discussed self-employment programmes at a two-day regional workshop within the framework of the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform ...


SEE 2020 Strategy Implementation: Programming Document for period 2018-2020 endorsed by the Strategy’s Participants
12 Mar 2018

Brussels – Representatives of the South East Europe’s (SEE) economies participating in implementation SEE 2020 Strategy endorsed the Programming Document for the period 2018-2020, at the 6th Meeting of the SEE 2020 Programming Committee held in Brussels, under auspices of the Regional ...


Western Balkans should enhance its competitiveness and improve its market orientation to fight unemployment
21 Feb 2018

Although the Western Balkans region suffered the dramatic employment fall in the period following the global economic crisis 2008-2011, “the situation recovered over the subsequent five years and by 2016 total employment had again reached 6.5 million, representing an increase of 8.9%”, ...


Vocational Training Centres analyse their legal framework with RCC’s ESAP assistance
30 Jan 2018

Pristina – Regional Cooperation Council's (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform Project (ESAP) project provided technical assistance to Vocational Training Centres in Kosovo* in analysing their current legal framework and the documents related to vocational training, and proposed ...


RCC's ESAP assists Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in Pristina to establish an integrated information system
29 Dec 2017

Pristina – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), through its Employment and Social Affairs Project (ESAP), provided a support upon request of Kosovo* on establishing an integrated information system in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. ESAP analysed the current systems ...


RCC, ETF continue building human capital in the region
22 Nov 2017

Brussels – The Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Secretary General, Goran Svilanovic, and newly appointed Director of the European Training Foundation (ETF), Cesare Onestini, signed an agreement on continuation of cooperation between the two organisations, in Brussels today.


National Workshops on Public Employment Services Benchlearning kick-off in Pristina
01 Nov 2017

A series of 12 workshops, two per each of the Western Balkans six economies, on Public Employment Services (PES) benchlearning, organised by the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employments and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP), kicked-off in Pristina today.


RCC hosts the first meeting of coordinators for the Western Balkans Regional Economic Area
31 Oct 2017

Brussels - Following the Trieste Western Balkans (WB) Summit and the endorsement of the RCC’s Multi Action Plan (MAP) for a Regional Economic Area (REA) in the WB6, the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Western Balkans Chamber Investment Forum (CIF), organized the first Meeting of ...


RCC’s ESAP: Belgrade hosts regional training on benchlearning for Public Employment Services in the Western Balkans
14 Sep 2017

Belgrade - The first ever assessors training on benchlearning for representatives of Public Employment Services (PES) from the Western Balkans, organized by the Regional Cooperation Council’ (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Regional Platform (ESAP) project, was held  in Belgrade today. 


Representatives of Western Balkan Public Employment Services discuss qualitative benchmarking
18 Jul 2017

Tivat - Representatives of Western Balkan Public Employment Services (PES) met in Tivat today to discuss qualitative benchmarking, in the framework of the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) regional project.


Trieste: Six Western Balkans leaders endorse Regional Economic Area
12 Jul 2017

Trieste - The leaders of Western Balkans Six (WB6) endorsed the Multi-annual Action Plan on a Regional Economic Area in the Western Balkans (MAP), at the summit in Trieste today. The MAP has been created to enable unobstructed flow of goods, services, capital and highly skilled ...


Skopje: Regional public employment services work together to improve measures leading to reduction of unemployment
21 Jun 2017

Skopje – Labour market statistics officials from the Public Employment Services (PES) of the Western Balkan economies agreed upon a set of quantitative indicators that are to be collected for the PES benchmarking analysis, at the meeting in Skopje today, organized under auspices of joint ...


RCC's ESAP Project assists Montenegro in preparing the new Labour Law
10 May 2017

Kolasin – Employment and Social Affairs Platform Project (ESAP) of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) supported the Montenegrin Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare by providing technical input and assistance to a national workshop on preparing the new Labour Law.


Skopje: ESAP co-organises National Consultative Meeting on the Employment and Social Reform Programme
21 Feb 2017

Skopje – The Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) project of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) provided support to a National Consultative Meeting on the Employment and Social Reform Programme, held in February 2017 in Skopje. 


Western Balkan's public employment services agree on concrete actions to enhance their work
27 Oct 2016

Belgrade/Sarajevo – Representatives of public employment services (PES) of the Western Balkan economies agreed on concrete steps and actions envisaging future cooperation under the Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) project  at their first  meeting that took place ...


ILO and RCC launch project for better labour market governance in the Western Balkans
29 Jun 2016

Sarajevo – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) will work together to further regional cooperation in order to achieve more effective labour market governance in the Western Balkans. The new joint project, funded by the European Union, ...


Three million euro for boosting jobs in the Western Balkans
01 Mar 2016

Brussels - The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) will jointly create a Western Balkans Platform on Employment and Social Affairs in the framework of a new European Commission funded project signed today in Brussels.