ILO partnerships

Montenegro Minister of Labour meeting ILO High Officials

Kemal Purišić, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare of Montenegro met with Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General and Heinz Koller, ILO Assistant Director-General and Director for Europe and Central Asia on 22 January, 2018. We asked Minister Purišić about their discussion and the cooperation between Montenegro and the ILO.

News | 23 February 2018

What were the key messages you gave to the Director-General and the Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia?

I used the opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for the support received from the ILO. This assistance has been crucial to ensure that Montenegro stays on the right path to meet the obligations arising from its membership in the ILO.
The main topic of the meeting was to highlight the achievements under the last Decent Work Country Program (DWCP) such as the revision of the labour law, the support for the agency for peaceful settlement of labour disputes, or the analysis of the business environment in cooperation with the Montenegrin Employers. We also agreed to develop a new cooperation plan for 2018 to 20 responding to Montenegro’s urgent need to align with the EU acquis in the fields of social policy and employment. This will include labour law, safety and health at work, equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and social security, employment policy, social dialogue, as well as the prohibition of discrimination.

Montenegro plans to become a European Union member in 2020. What is the most important support you got from the ILO so far and what assistance is still needed during your accession?

Montenegro is on a stable integration path to become a fully-fledged member of the European Union. We are highly committed which is best documented by the fact that we opened 30 out of 33 negotiation chapters Chapter 19 on Social Policies and Employment has been opened in Dec 16 and is driving the cooperation with the ILO. The Montenegrin Government has asked for assistance and ILO expertise in areas such as labour inspection reform, the draft law on protection in case of unemployment or a number of social dialogue related draft laws such as the law on Social Council and the law on trade union representativeness.

Youth employment is still very high in Montenegro. What needs to be done to combat it and to prevent the most talented youth from leaving the country?

High youth unemployment is a global problem. In European countries, the youth unemployment rate ison average three times higher than the overall unemployment rate. Montenegro is also facing this problem.
The policy response of the Montenegrin government is to create more employment opportunities for youth through active labour market policies and to establish a stronger link between educationand the labour market demand on the other.
The most important interventions are to improve the business environment contributing to more job creation, enhance the quality of education linking school and university teaching stronger to the skills demanded by the private sector, and invest more into Research and Development as a precondition for high quality jobs.