The Regional Experts’ Meeting on pension system reforms in SEE countries was held in Belgrade, April 28-29, 2010, attended by legal and economic TU experts from Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. The meeting was organized by the ITUC/ PERC SEE Office Sarajevo with the support of LO Norway, and presence of Ms. Siri Relling Adviser, from the LO Norway International department.
The main topic of the meeting was the Pension System Reforms in the SEE countries: challenges and trade union positions. The SEE TU experts presented the national documents on the actual situation in pension system of their countries, and pointed out the key challenges of the reforming process, as well as the trade union opinion to achieve a sustainable pension system. Mr. Stein Reegård, Head of Economic and Social Affairs Department, LO Norway presented the Norwegian pension model, the role of social partners, rationales of the reform, interdependence between the labour market and pensions.
Mr. Martin Hutsebaut- external European expert and mentor talked on the Long- term sustainability and adequacy of benefits, Public/private mix in pensions in Europe and Early retirement schemes, Social protection and pension system policies.
The purpose of the meeting was to point out the key challenges coming out of the policies on pension system reform, impact of poor employment, change of political philosophy, instruments, exchanging standpoints and approaches of the trade unions on pension system reforms in the respective countries, and to discuss strategic options to achieve a sustainable social development as a way to sustainable pension systems.
It was agreed that the Project mentor would draft a unique structure of summarized national documents and that the experts would adjust their reports to the new structure, which could contain not more than 5 pages. Special focus was placed on the proposals by the Trade Unions pertaining to the self-sustainable model of the pension system. The above summarized versions of national documents will be designed until the beginning of September. In addition, in the period from September to the end of October, there will be national Round Tables organized in Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, also inviting the representatives of the other two social partners, including the organizations about which the Trade Unions consider that they should give their opinion about the model of the pension system reform. The other further steps necessary for the project implementation were also discussed on that occasion.
Enisa Salimović, ITUC/PERC SEE Office Sarajevo