Opportunities for enhanced social dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By initiative of the Swedish Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina a working lunch with key actors was organized in Sarajevo on 19 September together with ILO and Olof Palme International Center to familiarize key actors and discuss opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Global Deal. Among participants where representatives from governments, unions, employer’s associations, businesses and civil society organizations.

Anna Sundström, Secretary-General of Olof Palme International Center, presented the Global Deal and existing initiatives for support to social dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Markus Pilgrim, Director of the ILO regional office in Budapest highlighted the high unemployment rates, especially among women, as one of the great challenges facing the region. Existing support included technical support to job centers and assistance for reform of labor legislation and mediation.

Government representatives, unions, employer’s associations, businesses and civil society organizations expressed great interest in the Global Deal as a tool to enhance social dialogue and ensure sustainability in the labor market. At the same time, it was acknowledged that the complex governance structure in the country (two entities, one autonomous district etc.) posed specific challenges that needed to be reckoned with. The high unemployment rate and emigration were recurrent themes in the discussion. There were many opportunities to take the initiative further and EU integration processes offered sound framework in this regard.

After the meeting, the Commerce and Service Trade Union (STBIH) decided to join the Global Deal.