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Skupština Crne Gore
Friday, 28. November 2014. 12:13

Thematic meeting of the Igman Initiative: An introductory speech of the Vice President of the Parliament

Podgorica, 28 November - Distinguished representatives of parliaments of four states, distinguished representatives of executive power, dear representatives of the Igman Initiative, representatives of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, representatives of the professional community, dear representatives of media, ladies and gentlemen: 

"It is a great pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the Parliament of Montenegro, hoping that this meeting will be fruitful, as yet another in a series of important meetings, aimed at establishing full cooperation among parliaments, governments and institutions of four states.

This meeting is organized in the framework of the Igman Initiative, which, in the previous period through specific projects, was working very devotedly in different fields of connecting our states and this region in general.

Today’s topic related to free movement of labor force between the countries signatories of the Dayton agreement using the experiences of the Nordic model of cooperation is significant both at the political and economic level, and more importantly – it considers addressing important life issues and concerns of our citizens.

Countries in the region, in particular, the countries signatories of the Dayton agreement, have made a lot of effort to address a number of important issues through their bilateral agreements, particularly in the field of social protection, such as - health, pension and disability insurance. However, regional cooperation in the field of free movement of labor is not satisfactory. Lack of bilateral agreements on the free movement of labor is the result of several factors, which are common to all four countries. It is necessary to regulate the field of labor rights, in the direction of uniform supply and demand of labor, then to work on additional education or training of those who during their regular education were trained for work for which there is no demand or not in accordance with the terms of the labor market.

In all countries of the region there is a high percentage of informal business - the underground economy, which is particularly expressed in the field of construction, trade and agriculture. Legislation in the field of employment of foreigners is rigid and prescribes restrictions regarding the employment of foreign nationals, without exception for nationals from countries in the region.

Findings of expert team of the Igman Initiative give us clear guidelines and recommendations, some of which are already implemented in the famous Nordic model of cooperation.

In order to address adequately the issue of bilateral cooperation in the field of migration of labor, the process of drafting bilateral agreements should be fully transparent.

Agreements should be based on an objective and realistic assessment of supply and demand for labor force of signatory states, based on which specific and measurable conditions would be created under which labor migration would take place in accordance with internationally established standards and agreements, which would be agreed and concluded between our states. Signing of bilateral agreements between countries - signatories of the Dayton Agreement, would create conditions for further improvement of economic cooperation, which is one of the priorities of foreign policy of all states.

Our parliaments and governments surely have the major role and responsibility in this process that should with the already expressed political will, create certain legislative initiatives, decisions and agreements, which would enhance the free movement of labor force and regulate the labor market situation in our states.

I believe that today's discussion would, through the closer and expert overview of these problems, give appropriate conclusions and recommendations, which would mean another step in the direction of easier and freer movement of labor force, but the overall - greater connectivity and cooperation between our countries and the entire region, in all fields important for easier, safer and better lives.” 

Vice President of the Parliament of Montenegro Suljo Mustafić