National Round Table in Serbia "Trade Union Role in Pension system Reforms”

Within the Project “SEE Trade Union Role in Pension system Reforms”, financially supported by LO Norway, the National Round Table for SERBIA was held on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 in Belgrade .
Organizers of the Round Table were the trade union confederations head offices – UGS‘’Nezavisnost’’/ and CATUS.

Following the introductory remark by the President of UGS ‘’Nezavisnost’’and representative of CATUS, and the Office Coordinator of ITUC / PERC SEE Office, the discussion included the representatives of the Ministry of Work and Social Policy, Tax Administration, Association of Employers in Serbia, IMF, World Bank, and Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Croatia/. ETUC Expert for the matters of pension and disability insurance reform, Martin Hutsebaut, talked about the fundamental prerequisites required for the overall reform of this area, comparing the conditions in Serbia with the conditions in the countries in the region and the European Union.

Basic conclusion of the Round Table was that the Trade unions will, irrespective of inadequate, ignoring attitude of the Government towards the positions and proposals of the trade union head offices, remain interested that the new Law, as much as possible, protects the interests and improves the rights of the workers and pensioners, as present and future beneficiaries of these pension and disability rights, and also that the trade unions will intensify their activities related to this plan. To this end, the positions of the representative trade union head offices were supported that the reform of the pension and disability insurance system has to be comprehensive – directed primarily towards the revenue collection (establishment of the financial discipline in the collection of contributions and the activation of other realistic sources of financing), not only on the expenditures (increasing the retirement terms and lowering the level of the rights arising from the pension and disability insurance), and also that the balance between economic sustainability of the system and social justice as well a sustainability of the pension beneficiaries has to be established.

Following the Round Table, the Press Conference was held where the representatives of the trade union head offices presented their positions and proposals.

ITUC/PERC SEE Office and Ms. Zlata Zec, Project expert