By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of the Sofia Globe
The ministers of labour and social policy of Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia have signed a memorandum of co-operation on labour law, the labour market and combating undeclared work, the government media office in Sofia said.
The memorandum was signed on November 25 2014 by Bulgarian minister Ivailo Kalfin (photo) and his counterpart in Skopje, Dime Spasov.
The partnership between the two countries provides for the exchange of information and expertise in the field of harmonisation of labor legislation, social dialogue, seasonal employment, and policies and measures for the reduction and prevention of undeclared work, the Bulgarian government media statement said.
The two countries are also planning to cooperate in terms of inspection control in order to tackle informal employment and implement programmes for active employment policy through the European Social Fund.
Kalfin and his Macedonian counterpart discussed mechanisms to combat youth unemployment. Kalfin expressed readiness to exchange good practices and expertise between the two countries in the process of Macedonia’s accession to the European Union, the statement said.
Skopje’s ambassador in Sofia, Blagoj Handjiski, emphasised the good co-operation between the two countries, the statement said. He pointed out that the signed memorandum was the 87th bilateral document between Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia.
Kalfin also held meetings with his counterparts from Romania, Croatia and Montenegro.
“Bulgaria and Romania should continue the good and efficient cooperation within the European Union (EU)”, Kalfin said during his meeting with Secretary of State for Social Dialogue in the Romanian Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and the Elderly, Alexandra Braica. The two sides discussed ways and means for implementation of social dialogue and its advantages.
Implementation of the European Youth Guarantee initiative and the work of public employment authorities were among the topics of discussion between Kalfin and Croatian Minister of Labour and Pension System Mirando Mrsić. They also exchanged views on procedures in both countries for granting disability pension.
“Bulgaria supports the efforts of Montenegro in the process of accession to the EU”, Kalfin assured Minister of Labor and Social Welfare of Montenegro Predrag Bošković. During the working meeting, the two sides agreed to exchange experience in the provision of social services and care for the elderly. The ministers expressed their willingness to continue the process of signing the Agreement on Social Security between Bulgaria and Montenegro, the statement said.