Ref N° 220

Analysis of the role and further development of trade unions in the Western Balkans

Central & Eastern Europe regional
Overall project value (EUR)
€ 59 995
Origin of funding
Proportion carried out by legal entity
Consortium members
AEDES (Framework contract Lot 8)
Start date
January 2005
End date
June 2005
Number of staff provided
2.5 w/d

Detailed description of project Back

Since its inception in May 1991 the aim of the Stabilisation and Association process has been to equip the countries of the Western Balkans with the means, based on European practice and standards, to maintain stable democratic institutions, to ensure the rule of law prevails and to sustain open, prosperous economies. The SAp creates strong links between each country and the EU, and also strongly encourages regional co-operation between the countries themselves and their neighbours in the region.

The “Thessaloniki Agenda – moving towards European integration” which stresses the need to incorporate the experience of the accession countries gained in the context of the enlargement process, is now the shared agenda of the EU and the Western Balkans countries. It emphasizes that the “involvement of non-governmental organisations, civil society and local authorities in EU supported policies and activities is of paramount importance.”

As one step towards the fulfilment of the objectives of the Thessaloniki Agenda, the Commission has decided to launch an analysis of the role, functioning and ways to further develop the work and impact of trade unions in the Western Balkans countries.

The objectives of this consultancy assignment are:

  • To evaluate the current role and functioning of trade unions in the Western Balkans;
  • To assess the awareness and knowledge on the SAP within trade unions and how trade unions see their role in it;
  • To recommend models and priorities for the further development of the role and functioning of trade unions in the Western Balkans.

Type of services provided

  • Survey existing literature and other sources of information on the topic;
  • Identify existing trade union structures in the five Western Balkans countries and provide an analysis of their focus, capacity, strengths and weaknesses;
  • Gather the opinion and experience of relevant actors, such as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the International Labour Office (ILO), the American Center for International Labour Solidarity (ACILS);
  • In the light of experience made in the new Member States, provide an overall analysis of how Western Balkans trade unions can best support the Stabilisation and Association process in the Western Balkan countries e.g. as social partners, and identify the best ways to strengthen their capacity to do so;
  • Evaluate the awareness and knowledge of trade unions on the Stabilisation and Association Process and how trade unions perceive their role in it;
  • Provide recommendations, priorities, cost estimates and approximate timetable for various operational solutions on how to enhance the capacity and impact of trade unions in the Western Balkans.

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