The Regional Forum for Social and Economic Policy aims at establishing a tradition of regional gatherings to discover shared interests in the social and economic policy area across the 11 “new” EU member states Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
While the Forum 2018 focused at convergence initiatives at the European and national levels, this year’s Forum was addressing how to better facilitate inclusive growth at the local level via broadening traditional social dialogue and interaction of various stakeholders in the labour market - including firms, employees and trade unions, central and local governments, the non-profit sector and the education system.
Although EU-level and national level strategies emphasize the importance of inclusive growth, unlocking this process necessitates embracing local-level initiatives and a pluralistic dialogue between all stakeholders within the society. In presentations of best practices and interactive sessions, participants identified labour market challenges in particular local contexts, explored efforts and specific roles that stakeholders may play in addressing these challenges in the context of the EU2020 strategy. Further, they discussed various mechanisms and institutions that should facilitate a successful cooperation between firms, trade unions, local governments, schools and NGOs on a joint way towards inclusive growth.
More details about the Forum and its outcomes can be found in a policy paper coming until the end of November.