Strengthening social dialogue in the Republic of Serbia

The project objective is to strengthen the Economic and Social Council, with emphasis on the regulatory, institutional, and promotional framework for collective bargaining and dispute resolution. The project will aim to identify and address legal and implementation gaps in conducting effective tripartite and bipartite social dialogue, and improve the regulatory and institutional framework of social dialogue in Serbia.

Social dialogue, tripartite or bipartite, is a relatively new concept for Serbia. So that social dialogue is effective, the ILO has identified several preconditions, namely:
  • Strong, independent and representative employers' and workers’ organizations with the technical capacity to participate in social dialogue and access to relevant information;
  • Political will, trust and commitment to engage in social dialogue by all the parties;
  • Respect for the fundamental rights of freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; and
  • An enabling legal and institutional framework.
Although Serbia has made good process in establishing different social dialogue mechanisms, their effective functioning remains a challenge, partly because not all pre-conditions have been met. Based on its long-standing engagement in the country, the ILO will seek to strengthen the functioning of the Economic and Social Council, as well as the regulatory, institutional, and promotional framework for collective bargaining and dispute resolution.

The ILO will focus its interventions in two areas of work: the regulatory reform and capacity-building/awareness-raising. The ILO will provide technical comments and recommendations relevant for social dialogue aiming to improve key pieces of labour legislation, such as the Law on Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, as well as technical support in the drafting process of the new Law on Economic and Social the Council (ESC) and the new Law on Strike. It will seek for options to regulate the European works councils and employee involvement in decision-making in the European company and the European Cooperative Society, and prepare the strategy for the development and promotion of socially responsible business in the Republic of Serbia.

The ILO will also work on raising the awareness of the responsible ministry, national and local Economic and Social Councils, employers’ associations and trade unions on the importance and benefits of tripartite policy social dialogue, and collective bargaining, including alternative methods for labour dispute resolution.