SOCIEUX+ information session in Montenegro. Picture courtesy: Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Montenegro.
In line with the extension of SOCIEUX+ cooperation activities to the Western Balkans, the SOCIEUX+ team held an information session in Montenegro for potential partners. The event, hosted by the Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro on 22 November 2022, was further supported by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Montenegro as a key national partner.
The hybrid session was attended by about 30 representatives of public institutions including government ministries, public employment offices, centres for social work, and social partners (trade unions and employer organisations).
Ms. Liselotte Isaksson, Deputy Head of Cooperation for the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, opened the session and introduced the SOCIEUX+ cooperation methodology and presented the Facility team members that were on site. She stated that the EU is pleased to offer Montenegrin institutions the opportunity to access SOCIEUX+’s wealth of expertise, knowledge and experience.
The State Secretary of Labour and Social Welfare, Ms. Edina Dešić, gave then some introductory remarks describing the accession process and its necessary actions. In her words, the “session on the SOCIEUX+ instrument of the European Union is a further confirmation of the successful cooperation between Montenegro and the European institutions and another step on the European path of further improving the system of state administration in our country”.
“SOCIEUX+, through its technical and expert support deployed through the exchange of experiences of colleagues from EU member states on relevant topics, can contribute to strengthening the capacities of Montenegrin institutions. The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is the main partner in the implementation of the SOCIEUX+ Facility in Montenegro, but its success will be reflected in the inclusion of all relevant institutions that create and implement social policy and labour market policy”, she added.
The practical details of the Facility were presented by Marzena Breza, Technical Advisor for Social Protection, and Thierry Fiquet, Technical Advisor for Labour and Employment, who also provided concrete examples of SOCIEUX+ activities in their respective sectors.
Several bilateral meetings were held during the mission including exchanges with potential partners from the government and industry, including: Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (Directorate for Social and Child Protection; Directorate for Access to the Labour Market; Directorate for Labour; Division for Pension and Disability Insurance and Veterans and Disability Protection; Directorate for European Integrations, EU funds and International Cooperation); Ministry of Health; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Science and Technological Development; Ministry of Human and Minority Rights; Pension and Disability Insurance Fund; Institute for Social and Child Protection; Employment Agency of Montenegro; Administration for Inspection Affairs (Labour Inspection and Social Inspection); Confederation of Trade Unions of Montenegro; Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro.
SOCIEUX+, the European Union (EU) Expertise on Social Protection, Labour and Employment Facility, expands and improves access to better employment opportunities and inclusive social protection systems in EU Partner Countries through technical cooperation and knowledge development activities.
Based on the peer exchange model, SOCIEUX+ facilitates the exchange of knowledge and good practices between EU Member States and partner institutions around the world through targeted, short-term activities. Its specific objective is to enhance partner countries’ capacities to design, manage, and monitor inclusive, effective, and sustainable employment strategies and social protection systems.
SOCIEUX+ is co-funded by the European Union through the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA), the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), and the governments of Belgium, France, and Spain, and implemented by a partnership composed of Expertise France, Belgian International Cooperation on Social Protection (Belincosoc), the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel), and the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).
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