The Global Deal (GD) is a partnership effort to jointly address challenges in the global labour market and enable all people to benefit from globalisation. It is an alliance of governments, business unions and other organisations working in line with Goal 17 (“partnerships for the goals”) in the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, Goal 8 on decent work and inclusive growth, and Goal 10 on inequalities. The Government of Sweden, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the OECD launched the GD to enhance social dialogue on issues of common interest in economic and social policy. Effective social dialogue can contribute to decent work, quality jobs and increased productivity and by extension to greater equality and inclusive growth.
Macedonia became a Global Deal member in January 2018. We asked Ms. Mila Carovska, Minister of Labour and Social Policy about the Government’s expectations vis-à-vis the GD.
Macedonia joined the Global Deal in January 2018. Why do you think this global platform is a good model, and why did Macedonia decide to participate in the multi-stakeholder partnership?
This aim of the Global Deal enabling all people to benefit from globalisation is extremely relevant for Macedonia. One out of five Macedonians is at the risk of poverty and we see a rising income inequality as in many other countries. Therefore, the main goals of the Government are economic growth and raising the standard of living through measures for economic development and creation of jobs, with the focus on the social security and tax system as two key mechanisms for sharing the gains. Tackling these challenges requires enhanced social dialogue, especially if the aim is inclusive growth and reducing poverty.
What are the main issues Macedonia has to deal with in terms of labour market and equality issues? What do you expect Macedonia can achieve through its membership in the Global Deal?
Lowering the high rate of unemployment, especially of young people and women, remains the biggest labour market challenge. The unemployment rate was 24% in 2016. The share of young people not in employment, education, or training (NEET) is 31%, with women being more likely to be inactive. We try to improve the employability of the most vulnerable groups through active measures for job creation.
The Global Deal provides from our point of view a good platform for peer reviewing. We hope to learn from others what works and what does not work in promoting jobs and protecting people. At the same time we are willing to share our experiences. In particular, we hope to gain know-how on how to promote social dialogue at the local level and how to include stakeholders in economic and social councils. We also want to strengthen social partners improving their representativeness. This should also increase the trust between workers and employers. We believe that this will contribute to improved productivity and better promotion of the workers’ rights, bringing benefits to both employers and workers.
The ILO, together with Sweden and the OECD is one of the founders of the Global Deal. What will you expect from ILO throughout your cooperation?
Macedonia has a long-standing cooperation with ILO, especially on labour laws and social dialogue. We expect from the ILO guidance on how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal 8 on decent work and economic growth. The Government also seeks ILO support to enhance the social dialogue by broader inclusion of different stakeholders. ILO expertise will be needed in reviewing the Economic and Social Council and in further building the capacity of all partners engaged in social dialogue.