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Eastern Europe – Initiatives to promote jobs in South Eastern Europe

20 December 2012

In Macedonia, nearly 8,400 people in the past couple of years boosted their knowledge and competences required for employment as part of the EU funded project "Support to the Employment of Young People, Long-Term Unemployed, and Women." Some of them have managed to find a job through these active measures according to the Macedonian state news agency, MIA. The unemployment rate in the country currently stands at about 33%.

The director of the Employment Agency, Vlatko Popovski, said "8,400 people were trained and about 500 found jobs afterwards. The figure is not high, but it's encouraging giving hope that with training good results can be achieved and that the unemployment rate can be reduced in the future,".

In Romania, the National Employment Agency (ANOFM) on Tuesday launched a website aiming to keep its clients and potential clients up-to-date with the latest job opportunities, within a project co-funded by the European Social Fund through the Human Resources Development Sectoral Operational Programme (POSDRU). The project named “Be Informed!” is devoted to Romanian citizens looking for a job or carrying out an activity in the European Economic Area (EEA). 

Nearly 2,300 Romanians living in Spain were recently asked about ANOFM. “The survey showed that the National Employment Agency's visibility is average to low among the Romanians in Spain, especially among those living in Castile-La Mancha, therefore, the information on the vacant jobs in the European Economic Area released by ANOFM cannot be fully turned to good account” manager of the project Catalin Boicu told Agerpres on Tuesday.

The World Bank reported earlier this week that the combined economies of the six South East European countries will shrink by 0.6% in 2012, and face formidable risks going into 2013 with expected growth of 1.6%. The Bank’s suggestions included labour reforms to help the current economic climate.

The South East Europe Regular Economic Report (SEE RER) covers six countries (SEE6) - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia - and foresees that the road to sustained recovery will be arduous with sluggish growth in 2013 at best, and with significant risks. Among the clouds on the horizon for 2013 are the risks to recovery of the Eurozone and high commodity prices––risks to which all the SEE6 countries are highly vulnerable.

In this uncertainty, Serbia, Albania, and Montenegro in particular will need to persevere in reducing fiscal deficits and bringing down public debt, even as they must continue to improve the investment climate and reform labour markets and the public sector.

“In this fragile environment, Western Balkan governments need to pursue reforms that make a difference for long-term growth and jobs,” says Željko Bogetić, World Bank Lead Economist and Coordinator for Economic Policy for the Western Balkans and lead author of the SEE RER report, the third of a series of regular bi-annual reports.  “What is needed first and foremost is more intensive policy reform to reduce public debt and accelerate structural reforms, especially in the public sector governance, the investment climate, and labour markets.”
To read the full report, please see below: 


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