Open Balkans to Start Functioning This Autumn – Inflow of Around 30,000 Workers from North Macedonia and Albania Expected

Source: Politika Monday, 31.10.2022. 15:02
Illustration (Photo: Edhar/
In order for the single labor market on the level of North Macedonia, Albania and Serbia to be able to function within the Open Balkans initiative, all the regulatory changes need to be completed and then also adopted at the parliaments of all three states. The final step is the ratification of the agreement at the assembly of North Macedonia, following which technical protocols need to be signed as the basis for the functioning of the single labor market in three states. As Nenad Djurdjevic, the adviser to the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, explains, such a labor force market will be functional in the autumn.

– In practice, this means that the citizens of North Macedonia and Albania will not need residence and labor permits. The employment of the citizens of these two countries in Serbia will be identical to the employment of the citizens of Serbia and the Law on the Employment of Foreigners will not apply to them – Djurdjevic emphasizes.

The Open Balkans initiative was agreed between the officials of the three countries back in 2019 in order to enable the citizens of this region to integrate, travel more easily, trade, get scarce workforce, that is, to enable the free movement of goods, services, people and capital, modeled after the EU.

Nebojsa Atanackovic, the honorary president of the Serbian Association of Employers, is convinced that the increase in the number of workers this way will do good for our employers, especially for the positions which are otherwise always vacant.

– We lack all worker profiles in construction, as well as workers in hospitality and tourism, drivers and even those who do seasonal jobs, such as pickers. We expect around 30,000 of them to arrive. Of course, they won’t all come at once, so there won’t constantly be 30,000 workers more in Serbia thanks to that connecting of the national electronic systems of Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania – Atanackovic notes.

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