Project BSLN - Baltic Sea Labour Network

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European Model for improvement of Interregional Labour Policy. This is 3 year Project that started in January 2009 involves 26 partners from 9 states representing workers, employers, and governments. The Project focuses on the mobility of labour in the Baltic Sea Region.

Social Dialogue – needed more than ever during the financial crisis

The BSLN Steering Committee, a high-level body for strategic and political decision making of the Baltic Sea Labour Network project, met for the first time on 9 October 2009 in Riga. The meeting gave senior representatives of trade unions, employer organisations, parliaments and governmental organisations the opportunity to set out the future steps of the BSLN so that it can achieve its goal of creating sustainable regional labour markets in Europe.

Elīna Egle, General Director, Employers' Confederation of Latvia LDDK raised the economic slow down and social dialogue to the centre of activities. “The economic decline has hit the whole Baltic Sea Region and conditions in the labour markets have changed drastically in many countries. Especially, in the time of suffering the social dialogue is needed most for the achievement of sustainable and competitive labour markets in the region. The labour markets are the backbone of sustainable economic growth. Without a doubt, the social partners are regulators and experts of the labour markets, even though labour market systems and models differ from one country to another. Therefore, governments and politicians should listen carefully to what trade unions and employer organisations have to say about competitiveness, decent working conditions, wages, social security and stability in the Baltic Sea Region.’

Franz Thönnes, MP and the Chairman of the Working Group on Labour Market and Social Affairs of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC), was impressed after the meeting arguing that ‘during my long engagement with the Baltic Sea Affairs I have never before seen such high-level representatives agreeing on joint tripartite statement on working together to for sustainable labour markets in the Baltic Sea Region. This is a healthy step to develop tripartite cooperation in the Region and to raise important questions from the labour markets point of view. For us politicians and also for governments this cooperation gives a possibility to collaborate with the social partners and to make use of the knowledge of labour market experts in decision making’.

In its statement, the tripartite Steering Committee agreed that the Baltic Sea Labour Network aims to become a Forum for the decision and policy makers of the Baltic Sea Region to combine knowledge and ideas in order to come up with strategies, policies and practical solutions. The BSLN is looking to use social dialogue and active labour market policies to address the challenges of the economic crisis and issues raised by the mobility of labour in the Baltic Sea labour markets. The Steering Committee of the transnational cooperation project of 26 partners from 9 countries in the Baltic Sea Region will meet regularly during the project’s duration.

For more information please contact:

Katariina Röbbelen-Voigt, BSLN Project Manager, Hamburg/ Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 40 2858-637
E-mail: k.roebbelen-voigt@kooperationsstelle-hh.de

Mika Häkkinen, BSLN Communication Manager, Stockholm/ Sweden
Phone +46 (0) 8 20 98 80
E-mail: mika.hakkinen@nfs.net

BSLN Project coordinator in LBAS: Liene Liekna, ph. +371 6 7035921, e-mail: liene.liekna@lbas.lv