Annual meeting of IOE members from Europe and Central Asia

In the period from 8 to 9 September 2022, the International Organization of Employers (IOE) held an annual meeting for members of employer organizations from Europe and Central Asia. The meeting was held in Budapest and was attended by representatives from more than 25 countries, including representatives of the Serbian Association of Employers (SAE), who followed the meeting online.

During the two days of the meeting, there were discussions on the situation with energetcs on the world and national markets, the growth of inflation, disruptions in supply chains, difficulties in employment and, on the other hand, a large labor shortage, the need for education reform, modernization in the field of labor legislation from reasons for new ways of doing business, technology development, digitalization, e-commerce, new ways of working (platform economy, remote work), the importance of safety and health at work, environmental protection, food safety and other current issues.

All participants described the current state of their economies and the problems they are facing, and called on the IOE to support them.

SAE representatives stated that the current rate of inflation in the Republic of Serbia is 12.8%. They mentioned that the formation of the new Government of the RS is imminent after the elections, that the negotiations on the level of the minimum wage are currently ongoing, and that we are in the process of reforming the education system according to the real needs of the economy. The positive recommendation of the current Government of the RS regarding the signing of the contract on the supply of electricity for the economy at prices that contribute to its competitiveness was also highlighted.

IOE representatives invited employers’ organizations to turn to them for help in order to find the best solutions. They also pointed out that, in addition to pressing problems with energy sources, great attention must be directed towards education policies and the need to acquire the necessary skills, in order to replace the deficient occupations in the short term. It is necessary that the process of retraining and requalification should be in everyone’s focus, and young people must be additionally empowered and motivated for education in order to enable the survival of the economy and sustainable economic development.

The participants concluded that the world is in challenging times, in which cooperation and timely exchange of information are most important, and that a way out of this situation should be sought in partnership, and that so far it was proven that the best practice was social dialogue, with the mandatory preservation of the principle of dignity at work.

The International Organization of Employers (IOE) was founded in 1920 and is the only organization that represents the interests of employers in the field of labor and social issues at the international level. Today, its membership includes 150 national employers’ associations. The Serbian Association of Employers became a full member of the IOE in 2006, after the Republic of Serbia acquired the status of a sovereign state.

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