Meeting of the Ministries of Labour of the Council of the Baltic Sea States & Baltic Sea Labour Forum Round Table in Riga

On 18 April 2018 in Riga, the CBSS Secretariat in cooperation with the partner organisations, Employers’ Confederation of Latvia (LDDK) and Latvian NGO Shelter House “Drosa Maja”, organised a meeting on the topic of labour and employment. The Meeting of the Representatives of the Ministries of Labour of the Council of the Baltic Sea States included representatives of stakeholder organisations dealing with the labour and employment issues in the Baltic Sea Region, such as the EU Directorate-General Employment, BSLF, BSPC, EUSBSR PA Education, and the NDPHS. It was followed by a joint meeting with social partners from the Baltic Sea Labour Forum (BSLF) at their Annual Round Table.

The first session was devoted to a discussion on an optimal format to facilitate cooperation in the field of labour and employment in the Baltic Sea Region, referring to the Ministerial Declaration adopted by the CBSS Labour Ministries in June 2017. The proposal to have a less formal and more flexible kind of structure as a Coordination Group/cooperation platform, based on voluntary participation of the CBSS Member States, entitled the “CBSS/BSLF Coordination Group on Labour and Employment” (CG) was supported. The CG will be a joint group with the Baltic Sea Labour Forum (social partners) and envisages the participation of key actors in the field such as representatives from the ministries (which can be labour, education or health) from CBSS Member States, Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, Northern Dimension Partnership on Public Health and Social Well-being, EU DG Employment, EUSBSR Policy Area Education, as well as experts from the academic sphere and other organisations with competence in a field of common interest. The work of the Coordination Group will be focused on the cross-cutting and topical issues pertaining to the new qualifications required for future work patterns, and their linkage to education and needs of the labour market. This also closely relates to the importance of life-long learning and comprehensive labour market forecasting and research, including demographic challenges.

The CBSS Secretariat will draft Terms of Reference for the informal working group on labour issues for the further consideration of the participating parties.

The Baltic Sea Labour Forum (BSLF) Annual Round Table gathered about 40 participants from trade unions and employer organisations, as well as a wider range of organisations and institutions working on labour issues across the region. The Round Table was opened with a speech by Mr. Imants Lipskis, Director of the Labour Market Policy Department of the Ministry of Welfare, which highlighted topical issues for the current development of the field of labour and employment in Latvia, as well as the most promising areas for international cooperation in BSR.

Representatives from the social partners in their presentations called for increased interaction in the areas of common concern, for example, labour mobility, future work and digitalization, new qualifications and life-long learning.

See more moments from the meeting here.