It has been almost three years since the ILO Office for Central and Eastern Europe had their last in-person all staff meeting. As in other regions, virtual meetings were the lifeline for conducting business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the potential of new technologies, the more time that passed, the more colleagues sought to renew the personal connection that is indispensable for productive teamwork.
From 13 to 15 September 2022 dozens of colleagues from the sub-regional team finally gathered for a retreat in Budapest, Hungary. It was a long-awaited moment, and an opportunity to reconnect, recharge and focus on planning to face the challenges ahead.
“It was great to re-connect and it was much-needed, it makes such a difference,” says Markus Pilgrim, Director, ILO Office for Central and Eastern Europe.
“Our meeting allowed us to review how we responded to the needs of constituents during the pandemic. We were also able to discuss the unprecedented crises that we are witnessing in the European region, which will require us to focus and redouble our efforts, and we were able to plan and prioritize on ways to respond to these challenges,” he said.
The ILO Office for Central and Eastern Europe covers 18 countries with a focus on the Western Balkans, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The team currently has 74 staff, with National Coordinators based in the focus countries, in addition to Project Coordinators, Technical Specialists, and administrative staff working locally or from Budapest.
The priorities of the Office include mitigating the impact of the recession and loss of employment caused by the pandemic in the sub-region, and assistance to the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine, its displaced people and refugees fleeing the war in the country.
ILO in Central and Eastern Europe
ILO response to the Ukraine crisis