Six years ago, FES launched the Regional Round Table for Social Dialogue in order to improve tripartite social dialogue in South East Europe. Social Partners and Government Representatives from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Rumania and Serbia meet once a year to discuss about social and labour policy issues in their countries. The Round Table allows for regional exchange on common challenges and promotes social dialogue as an instrument to jointly discuss new policies and resolve conflicts peacefully. The meeting is usually hosted by a participating countries.
This year, the Round Table was held in Brussels as a bipartite dialogue (without government representatives). The participants had the occasion to discuss with representatives from the DG Employment and the DG NEAR about the social partners’ participation in economic governance processes, such as the European Semester, and the compilation of the Progress Reports for the accession countries.
The participants also learned about the European social model through a presentation made by Aline Hoffmann from the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI). Later the participants had a lively debate with Jutta Steinruck about social dialogue, youth unemployment, social policies and the waves of refugees passing through the west Balkan.