A Study Tour to Austria was held between 7th and 10th of November 2022 at the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe. The main participants were managers of employment-policy-related institutions from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). 

This visit was an opportunity for key stakeholders from the Bosnia and Herzegovina employment sector, at the national and entity level, to gather new information and expand their knowledge regarding EU OMC (Open Method of Coordination) implementation in a decentralized country like Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a special legislative procedure used by the European Union, where member states have full control over a specific area (in this case, employment and social policy design), but at the same time want to coordinate their policies on a particular subject (in cooperation with EU institutions). Precisely for this reason, the destination of this visit was Austria, an EU country with a decentralized institutional setup. The presentation of the Austrian experience in this area will surely benefit the participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina and motivate them to help harmonize the labor market and employment policy governance in line with EU rules and expectations. Also, this visit, and the discussion with important actors from key Austrian institutions related to the labor market and employment policies, allowed the participants to establish new professional links to sustain further processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Experts from relevant Austrian institutions, such as WiiW (Vienna Institute for Economic Studies), Arbeitsmarktservice (AMS), Federal Ministry of Labor, and many others, held all lectures in the seminar room of our institute. The Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe is aware of the importance of such events, especially when it comes to actors from countries that aspire to become EU members. Providing an opportunity to exchange experience, in cooperation with other Austrian institutions, is of great importance for relevant actors in countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we look forward to such events in the future as well. 


Author: Dino Filipović