Initial meeting of the Working group of the National Convention on the EU
Initial meeting of the Working group of the National Convention on the EU covering chapters Freedom of movement for workers, Social policy and employment was held
Initial meeting of the Working group of the National Convention on the EU tasked with monitoring the process of negotiations on Chapter 2 - Freedom of movement for workers and Chapter 19 - Social policy and employment was held on Thursday June 26, 2014 in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. Currently, the working group consists of 20 members, including representatives of the most relevant civil society organisations, unions, employers’ associations, International Labour Organisation and Academia. Its activities are coordinated by the Centre for Democracy Foundation. The objective of the Working group is to monitor the process of negotiations on the two chapters as well as to follow legislative activities and developments in relevant fields, and to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the new legislation and other regulations. One of the issues raised at the meeting referred to the approximation of the national legislation regulating employment and social policy with the European acquis.
Focus was set on the changes to the labour law, and the participants expressed serious concerns regarding how the new Labour Act is to be adopted. The fact is that Serbia is the only country in transition which did amended the Labour Act for the past nine years and that the need for it to be amended is not solely due to the requirements of the accession negotiation with the European Union. The participants express disapproval of the fact that there was no public debate on this law and that the Ministry withheld issuing the final draft for months and consequently a public debate could not be organised. The draft versions in Serbian and English on the Ministry’s website were not identical, and it was expected that various international organisations provide comments and opinions on the proposed draft. The International Labour Organisation will issue their opinion on the draft by mid July, as was announced by Jovan Protić, ILO Coordinator for Serbia.
Participants raised concerns that these measures will directly harm workers and that new solutions will have to be amended very soon.
A week ago, with the participation of Government, Parliament and Civil Sector representatives the first plenary meeting of the National Convention on the European Union was held. The purpose of the Convention was to open up discussions on all aspects of the European Integration process and achieve the broadest possible social consensus on the accession to the EU. The idea of the National Convention was forged in 2006 and today it includes 21 working groups, tasked with monitoring and strengthening of the accession negotiation process on all 35 Chapters.
The initial meeting of the Working group of the National Convention on the EU tasked with monitoring the process of negotiations on Chapter 2 - Freedom of movement for workers and Chapter 19 - Social policy and employment
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