Cross-border labour mobility can contribute to the improved matching of skills and jobs, transfer of knowledge and technology, increased economic productivity and employment creation. While the current economic situation and limited employment opportunities in South-East Europe pose considerable challenges for the creation of a common labour market, putting in place some of the preconditions for enabling mobility will make the region’s small economies more attractive to larger domestic and foreign investors, while at the same time preparing them for future EU membership.
The Regional Overview report “Labour Mobility as a Factor of Development in South-East Europe” is a result of a joint cooperation effort between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Prepared in support of the implementation of the South-East Europe 2020 Strategy, the report features a socioeconomic overview of current labour mobility trends in the region written by an expert team under the RCC’s coordination. The report’s Part II, prepared under guidance of IOM with the financial support of the IOM Development Fund, reviews legislative arrangements governing labour mobility in South-East Europe, in terms of their comparability and compliance with international and EU legal instruments. The report has benefited from comments and views of ministries in charge of labour and employment, members of the RCC Working Group on Social Agenda 2020; ministries of interior, migration and other various stakeholders who took part in national consultations conducted in Autumn of 2014.
The RCC and IOM hope that the Regional Overview will be used by the governments in the region as they continue enhancing coordination on labour mobility regulation as a pathway towards economic growth, prosperity and sustainable development. It is expected that the report will broaden the understanding of current features and systems of labour mobility in the region, hence promoting policy actions that can lead to increased workers’ mobility with the ultimate goal of enhancing well-being and prosperity for all.