PERC/ LO-N Regional project – Tackling taxation, informal economy and corruption in the Western Balkans – towards better governance and democracy, Kick-off regional meeting, 13-14 March 2013, Sofia

The kick-off meeting within the Project “Tackling taxation, informal economy, and corruption in the Western Balkans – towards better governance and democracy” was held on 13-14 March 2013 in Sofia. The meeting marked the beginning of the three-year project (2013-2015), which will be implemented in cooperation with the trade unions from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo, supported by the Kingdom of Norway, along with the trade union LO Norway, International Trade Unions Confederation Pan European Regional Council, and legal, economic, communications/campaign experts from the following SEE trade unions: BSPSH and KSSH- Albania, KSBiH- Bosnia and Herzegovina, UATUC, NHS and HUS- Croatia, CATUS and UGS Nezavisnost- Serbia, CTUM – Montenegro, SSM, UNASM and KSS – Macedonia, BSPK- Kosovo.

The meeting was organized by the Pan European Regional Council – Regional Office Sarajevo, based on the Plan for the implementation of the project. The co-financer of the meeting was the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Regional Office Belgrade.

The meeting was attended by the legal, economic, communications/ campaign experts, presidents of trade unions from all seven Western Balkan countries, colleagues from CITUB and Podkrepa – Bulgaria, H.E. Ms. Guro Katharina Vikør, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Bulgaria, project-coordinator Siri Relling, and experts Ellen Baken and Kristian Brustad from LO Norway, ETUI experts Bruno Sergi and Grigor Gradev, external experts Martin Hutsebaut and Krastyo Petkov, Director of FES Regional Office Belgrade, Roland Feicht, and ITUC/PERC Regional Office Sarajevo staff.

The meeting thematic sessions were:

  • Problems and challenges in the SEE economies – overview of the situation; * Current challenges and possibilities for changes;
  • Revisiting taxation policies and systems – priorities for public and trade union interests; * Taxation policies from European perspective; * How does a social state function – Norwegian case; * Good system of taxation and controlling instruments as prerequisite for better governance;
  • Rethinking “informal economy” – evolution of concept and current challenges for SEE trade unions; * Influence of informal economy on the economic development;
  • The challenge of “corruption” – focus/governance problems/TU policy impact; * Living in corrupted state – what criminal transition brought – Bulgarian case;
  • Building proper communication policies;
  • The priority areas for trade unions, the most important issues and activities – regional and national specifics, future steps.

A complete Report and PowerPoint presentations are available on the PERC website.

ITUC/ PERC SEE Office Sarajevo

Agenda, Kick-off regional meeting, Sofia 13-14 March 2013
REPORT-Kick-off meeting, Sofia 13-14 March 2013
Project cooperation with the trade unions of western balkans, Siri Relling
Current challenges and possibilities for changes, Prof. Bruno Sergi
How one welfare state is functioning, The Norwegian case, Ellen Baken
Good system of taxation and controlling instruments as prerequisites of better system governance, M.A.oec, Boris Feis
Influence of the informal economy on the economic development, Dr. Rajko Kosanovic
Living in a Corrupted State Outcomes of Criminal Transition,The Bulgarian Case, Prof. Krastyo Petkov
What about the communication, Kristian Brustad