Joint meeting of Network of SEE and NIS trade unions economic experts “Investments, austerity, labor market deregulation effects and inequality”

Within the ITUC – PERC support project of the Swedish trade unions “Union to Union“, a first joint meeting of Network of SEE and NIS trade union economic experts was held on 5-6 May 2016 in Budva – Montenegro. The theme was “Investments, austerity, labor market deregulation effects, and inequality”. Trade union economic experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Kosovo have actively participated in the meeting. Working languages of the meeting were Russian, BCSM, and Albanian.

A roundtable on the topic “Socioeconomic perspectives of SEE and NIS” was held within the first part of the meeting, in which the participants presented the socio-economic situation and trade union policies at the national level, followed by the discussions moderated by the mentor and ETUI researcher, Prof. Bruno Sergi. The meeting, in its continuation, was directed towards the topic of “Investments and growth”, in which ITUC, ETUI, and PERC experts gave their significant contribution in form of presentations and answers to many questions asked. Following topics were discussed: “Investments and growth – CEE countries” – Bela Galgoczi, ETUI expert, “ SEE and NIS countries” – Prof. Bruno Sergi, and “OECD countries” – Ronald Janssen – TUAC. The second day of the meeting was dedicated to the topics “Inequality, social inclusion, and growth”, and “Labor market institutions to reduce inequalities: collective bargaining, social protection, fair taxation, and redistribution”. So many questions remained opened, matters in relation to which trade unions wish to have more information on monetary and exchange rate policies, efficient fight against corruption, role of minimum salary, and collective bargaining at the sector level, behavior of the multinational companies, and other matters. They need to hear the examples of good practices, including negative experiences. All the participants highlighted the importance of cooperation among the economic experts – at the national, sub-regional, regional, European and international levels. The cooperation between SEE and NIS networks is certainly useful in relation to so many matters, and this practice of occasional joint meetings will continue.

ITUC/ PERC SEE Office Sarajevo

Building more equal economies, R. Janssen
Growth and investment in CEE, B. Galgoczi
Investment and growth in OECD countries R. Janssen
Investment and growth B. Sergi