Europe

Parliamentary State Secretary Anette Kramme visits Montenegro and Serbia

Montenegro and Serbia are two of the EU candidate countries from the Western Balkans. Labour and social policy reforms are key prerequisites in the accession process to the EU.

BMAS

Parliamentary State Secretary Anette Kramme in Montenegro.

On 30 August, Parliamentary State Secretary Anette Kramme met in Podgorica with Admir Adrović, Montenegro’s Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, to discuss the state of labour and social policy reforms in his country. Both politicians stressed that it was important to strengthen Montenegro’s public employment service, implement labour law effectively and closely involve social partners in political decision-making processes. We want Montenegro to become a member of the EU and will support the necessary steps in this direction explained Parliamentary State Secretary Kramme.

Both partners said that they would like to see an EU-friendly government in Montenegro as the outcome of the current coalition negotiations - a government advancing the necessary reforms for the country’s accession to the EU. During other meetings in Montenegro’s Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, with the social partners and with NGOs, Parliamentary State Secretary Kramme inquired about a twinning project supported by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Germany’s Federal Employment Agency aimed at strengthening Montenegro’s public employment service, as well as about the state of social dialogue and the activities of Montenegro’s civil society.

Following her visit to Montenegro, Anette Kramme held talks in Belgrade with Nikola Selaković, Serbia’s Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy. In ways similar to the meetings in Montenegro, this meeting focused on Serbia’s progress towards EU accession. Parliamentary State Secretary Kramme emphasised that the German Government would back Serbia on its path towards the EU. However, EU accession was conditional on compliance with the EU’s entire acquis with labour and social policy aspects playing a vital role.

In this context, Minister Selaković asked for advice from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, especially regarding the establishment of functioning occupational safety and health systems and the employment of vulnerable groups in social enterprises. In further talks with civil society and trade unions, Anette Kramme sought information on the role of social partnership in Serbia and the situation of the media. A visit of the Responsible Business Hub brought home the interconnectedness of Germany’s and Serbia’s economy, not least through Germany’s Supply Chain Due Diligence Act.

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