First Vienna Conference on Western Balkan Labor Markets
April 4-5, 2017Vienna

A community of practice that brings together policy makers and experts with an interest in employment policies in the Western Balkans will meet to discuss a wide array of issues relating to the labor market and policies - including inactivity, informal employment, youth employment, gender gaps, productivity, skill development, and others.

The two-day event in Vienna will bring together policy makers, academics, and experts with an interest in employment policies in the Western Balkans to discuss issues related to labor market institutions and policies in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

This conference is organizaed with support from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance and in partnership with the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW).

Participants will include speakers from a number of key institutions, including European Commission (EC) and International Labour Organization (ILO)

During the event, findings of a new report on the labor market in the Western Balkans will be shared, and a newly available website for regional labor market data will be presented.

Download Full Agenda (PDF).

April 4 (afternoon)

13.30-14.00   Arrival & registration

14.00-14.15   Welcome

Harald Waiglein (Austrian Ministry of Finance)

Ellen Goldstein (World Bank)

Robert Stehrer (WIIW)

14.15-15.30   1st Western Balkan Labor Market Report presentation

Hermine Vidovic (WIIW)

Johannes Koettl (World Bank)

15.30-16.00   Coffee break

16.00-17.30   Challenges of Employment and Labor Market Data in the Western Balkan

Chair: Christiane Westphal (European Commission)

Presentation: SEE Jobs Gateway website and database (Fatbardha Ajeti, World Bank/Monika Schwarzhappel, WIIW)


Marius Wilk (Austrian Public Employment Service)

Mihail Arandarenko (University of Belgrade)

Edin Šabanović (Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina)

18.00            Dinner/Reception

April 5 (morning)

9.00-10.30    Challenges of Labor Market Institutions and Policies

Chair: Johannes Koettl (World Bank)

Presentation 1: Serbia National Employment Service efficiency analysis (Sara Johansson, World Bank)

Presentation 2: Performance management of public employment services in Austria (Marius Wilk, Austrian Public Employment Service)

Presentation 3: Rising to the Youth Employment Challenge: What works? (Niall O’Higgins, International Labor Organization)

Discussant: Vanja Ivosevic (Regional Cooperation Council)

10.30-11.00   Coffee break

11.00-12.30   Challenges of Inactivity

Chair: Hermine Vidovic (WIIW)

Presentation 1: Activation of social assistance beneficiaries: What works? (Mirey Ovadiya, World Bank)

Presentation 2: The role of labor income for poverty reduction and gender (Monica Robayo, World Bank)

Presentation 3: Migration, remittances and inactivity (Marjan Petreski, University American College Skopje)

Discussants: Vladimir Gligorov (WIIW)

12.30-13.30   Lunch

April 5 (afternoon)

13.30-15.00   Challenges of Better Employment

Chair: Mario Holzner (WIIW)

Presentation 1: The role of informal employment (Ardiana Gashi, University of Pristina)

Presentation 2: The role of public employment (Vojin Golubović, University of Donja Gorica)

Presentation 3: Low-wage and precarious employment (Mihail Arandarenko, University of Belgrade)

Discussants: Will Bartlett (London School of Economics)

15.00-15.30   Coffee break

15.30-17.00   Challenges of Productivity

Chair: Josefina Posadas (World Bank)

Presentation 1: Strengthening Work-Based Learning in VET: Challenges and Approaches (Margo Hoftijzer, World Bank)

Presentation 2: The role of labor demand (Nikica Mojsoska Blazevski, University American College Skopje)

Presentation 3: Competitiveness (Mario Holzner, WIIW)

Discussants: Xavier Matheu (ETF)

17.00-17.30   Closing session

                    Rapporteur: Alvaro Gonzalez (World Bank)

event details
  • date: April 4-5, 2017
  • time: Thu 14:00-18:00, Fri 9:00-17:30
  • venue: World Bank Office, Praterstrasse 31, 17th Floor, Vienna