Bosnia and Herzegovina: ETUCE mission to Sarajevo


Following the report of the unfavourable climate of industrial relations in Bosnia Herzegovina, a high-level ETUCE mission headed by ETUCE European Director, Susan Flocken, was organised on 14-15 February 2019 to Sarajevo, joined by Branimir Struklej, ETUCE Vice-President and Valentina Ilic and Borka Visnic from Serbia. Representatives from member organisations in Macedonia and Croatia joined the delegation.

The aim of the mission was to analyse the situation in the country with a view to support the ETUCE member organisations in Bosnia Herzegovina and to find out about the state of affairs in the fields of independent trade union movement and social dialogue at federal level in the country. Meeting with all ETUCE member organisations in the country, the delegation had individual meetings with the Vice-President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs  Melika Mahmutbegovic, the Labour Minister of the Canton of Sarajevo, Mr Malik Garibija, Mr Gianluca Vannini, Head of Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation to the EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Mr Marius Müller-Hennig, Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Office.

Addressing high-level interlocutors, Susan Flocken, stressed: “Meaningful and effective social dialogue is an important instrument for a country’s sustainable development. It is one of the four pillars of the EU Social Policy. The Government of a potential candidate country for EU membership should promote  the dialogue with social partners and create the environment supportive to democratic and independent trade union movement.  The ETUCE delegation is surprised to learn that the Economic and Social Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina has not been held for 15 months. The European Union repeatedly confirms its support for the freedom of trade union action, the independence of which is crucial. We support our member organisations in their call on the government to  heed the reasonable concerns of social partners and launch transparent, democratic and continuous social dialogue”.

ETUCE continues monitoring the situation.