Regional Ministerial Conference

At the Regional Ministerial Conference ‘Social Dimension Initiative of EU Integration’, organized on November 6, 2018, by ASB, IRIS Network represented the civil society sector. More than 150 relevant stakeholders from SEE and EU – Ministers of Labour and Social Policy from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYRoM, Albania and Montenegro, MEPs, Head of Unit International Issues – DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Head of Political Department – Regional Cooperation Council, H.E. German Ambassador to Serbia, Serbian Minister for EU Integration and civil society organizations from SEE were present at the Conference. Signing the Declaration on Improving Social Policy in the Western Balkans by Ministers of Labour and Social Policy from 7 countries, at the Conference, demonstrates full commitment to strengthening the social dimension within the enlargement process. Key topics discussed during the Conference were social aspect of the EU Integration process, transformation of social welfare system, new actors in social services and the role of CSOs in the social welfare system. Through participation in the Open Panel Discussion ‘EU Social Perspective’ IRIS Network presented to relevant stakeholders on the EU, regional, national and local level National IRIS Networks and its members – civil society organizations social service providers from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYRoM, Albania and Montenegro and promoted best practices in providing social services to vulnerable groups, with a focus on migrants. Furthermore, a dialogue between IRIS Network and the signatories of the Declaration concerning protection sensitive migration management has been initiated, which is of upmost importance for mutual understanding, communication and future actions in SEE, on regional, national and local level related to migrant issues, leading to prosperous and inclusive society.