EEPOW Research Findings

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Research was one of three main components of the EEPOW project. Research findings indicate that the Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC) has been only partially transposed in each of the four countries and the existing legislation does not include all the elements of the Directive and the Enforcement Directive, while other relevant measures such as bilateral agreements on social security coordination and health care are also incomplete. The assessment of the institutional arrangement indicated that a number of institutions responsible specifically for the implementation of the Directive are either not in place or just partially established. Liaison offices that would facilitate inter-agency cooperation and information dissemination mechanisms are also not established, which means that cooperation is partially under the control of various existing agencies, without a proper mandate for or knowledge of posting. Assessment of the existing human resources and their capacities shows that enforcement agencies lack the resources to monitor and control posting. Other stakeholders, such as trade unions, employer organisations, Chambers of Commerce and NGOs, have not been actively involved in the process across the four countries, and when they were, their involvement has been partial and in the form of consultation meetings. To address the needs identified, all four candidate countries must complete the legal framework and establish protocols of intra-agency cooperation, mandate public authorities and build their capacities on posting, as well as include social partners more actively in the process.
Country case studies were conducted by the research teams of partner organizations in the past two years (2018-2019) in order to assess the institutional capacities and needs of the four candidate countries of the Western Balkans: Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, to implement the Posting of Workers Directive. The empirical data was drawn from official reports, relevant grey and academic literature, and 44 interviews with various stakeholders in all four countries, i.e. policy-makers, implementing and enforcement authorities, and social partners. The group discussion at each of the national workshops held in Podgorica (7 May 2018), Tirana (26 June 2018), Belgrade (26 September 2018), and Skopje (6 November 2018) served as an additional source of information for the assessment of needs in each candidate country.
The approach chosen for the assessment is the incremental approach of identifying existing capacities and using them as the foundation for moving forward in achieving the developmental goal.

Each of the case studies, published as individual reports for Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, and a comparative Needs Assessment based on the four country reports focused on examining the policy process cycle in terms of six interdependent institutional capacity domains: legal framework, institutional arrangement, inter-agency cooperation, human resources, stakeholder engagement, and public governance. Country specific policy recommendations were finally provided in the policy briefs for Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia also published in the frame of the project.