“The Future Of Welfare State In The Western Balkans” Conference Held

Zorana Mihajlovic

More than five million people in the past ten years have left the region, and therefore joint initiatives are needed to achieve a higher quality of life for all citizens, said Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlović.

“The whole region needs to work together on political stability,” said Mihajlović.

The region needs to achieve joint initiatives with a higher level of social policy and social justice.

“First we need to raise social policy and the quality of life in all Western Balkan countries. We need to discuss social investment and how to adapt this structure to each country individually and in the region as a whole to move faster. We are doing a lot in the sphere of the economy, but it is necessary that we turn more to investing in education, healthcare and social justice.” the minister said.

Director of the Center for Social Policy, Žarko Šunderić, said that the goal of the group is to improve the quality of life in the region.

“About 30% of GDP is spent on welfare policies, which comes a little over 50% of the budget. On the other hand, the quality of life in the region can be improved, and if we look at the EU, we can see that the structure is a bit different, ” said Šunderić.

A group of independent research organisations from the Western Balkan countries dealing with welfare issues have launched an initiative to establish a regional platform for joint action in areas of significance for the welfare state at the regional level.

The Regional initiative aims to provide additional input by influencing existing processes focused on sustainable reforms in the region, such as – economic governance and economic reform programs, the process of accession negotiations with the EU, employment policy reform programs and social policies.

One of the goals is to improve the social dimension of the European integration of the Western Balkans.