The needs assessment of the capacities of the four candidate countries of the Western Balkans: Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, to implement the Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC). The capacities are assessed in the context of the policy process cycle and in terms of six interdependent institutional capacity domains: legal framework, institutional arrangement, inter-agency cooperation, human resources, stakeholder engagement, and public governance.
The findings indicate that the Directive has been only partially transposed in each of the four countries and the existing legislation does not include all the elements of the Directive and the Enforcement Directive, while other relevant measures such as bilateral agreements on social security coordination and health care are also incomplete. The assessment of the institutional arrangement indicated that a number of institutions responsible specifically for the implementation of the Directive are either not in place or just partially established. Liaison offices that would facilitate inter-agency cooperation and information dissemination mechanisms are also not established, which means that cooperation is partially under the control of various existing agencies, without a proper mandate for or knowledge of posting. Assessment of the existing human resources and their capacities shows that enforcement agencies lack the resources to monitor and control posting. Other stakeholders, such as trade unions, employer organisations, Chambers of Commerce and NGOs, have not been actively involved in the process across the four countries, and when they were, their involvement has been partial and in the form of consultation meetings.
To address the needs identified, all four candidate countries need to complete the legal framework and establish protocols of intra-agency cooperation, mandate public authorities and build their capacities on posting, as well as include social partners more actively in the process.