Employment and Social Affairs Platform – ESAP 2

Exiting shades of informal employment in the Western Balkans

Objectives

  • Establish the Western Balkans Network Tackling Undeclared Work
  • Promote mutual learning on priority employment policies, including vulnerable groups
  • Develop Western Balkans labour market policies and market reform databases & harmonise it with the EU’s
  • Provide national technical assistance with priority employment policies or measures
  • Facilitate Western Balkans’ alignment with the EU acquis

Results

  • Policies for tackling undeclared work improved in the Western Balkan Six
  • Institutional capacities for better design and implementation of employment policy increased
  • Engagement of Western Balkans in EU employment and social policies increased

Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP 2) is a regional project financed by the EU and implemented jointly by the Regional Cooperation Council and International Labour Organisation (ILO). ESAP 2 is a continuation of the original ESAP project implemented in the region from 2016 to 2019 and aims to build on its achievements. The main beneficiaries of the RCC’s portion of the project are the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs and the Public Employment Services of the six Western Balkan economies. The project also partners with Labour and Social Affairs counterparts in the European Union (EU).

After completion of its 1st phase, ESAP 2 was officially launched in January 2020, beginning the implementation phase along its 3 main components:

  • Informal Employment and Undeclared Work
  • Employment Policies and Measures
  • Western Balkans engagement in EU employment and social policies

ESAP 2 is set to improve employment opportunities and working conditions of women and men in the Western Balkans.

Next steps

  • ESAP 2 will work to establish a Western Balkans Network for Tackling Undeclared Work, to enhance cooperation and improve institutional capacities to tackle undeclared work
  • Continue with regional peer reviews on priority employment policies or measures to exchange experience and promote mutual learning in key policies and programmes aimed at: supporting the transition from economic inactivity to employment; and employment of women, youth, long-term unemployed, Roma and vulnerable groups as areas of shared concern
  • Work with its partners on the engagement of the Western Balkans in the EU employment and social policies.