The numerous reports of the institutions that deal with safety and health at work and the professional civil society organisations (CSOs) indicate that the number of injuries and victims at the workplace is increasing. These trends are analysed and outlined in the Regional Strategy for Safety and Health at Work as the members of the Balkan network of professional civil organisations for safety and health at work reveal that the countries of the Western Balkans have similar problems and specific priorities, such as:

  • Effective legal framework and OSH policies,
  • OSH education,
  • Strengthening of OSH capacities,
  • Promotion and raising of public awareness of OSH,
  • Records for the area for OSH and
  • Sectoral and inter-sectoral cooperation at the national and regional level.

As for the Balkan region, according to unofficial published data and sources from OSH strategic documents, more than 20,000 injuries occurred at the workplace in the past five years. Working conditions across the IPA countries remain at a very unsatisfactory level. The EU progress reports on IPA countries and Chapter 19 state that “EU rules in the social field include minimum standards on labour law, equality, health and safety at work and non-discrimination“.
OSH regulations and policies are adopted ad hoc without considering the opinion of CSOs and OSH Councils and without adequately analysing the impact that the proposed policies will have and their compliance with EU regulations. Progress reports and daily practice indicate a lack of involvement of CSOs in policy-making processes. Obviously, the actual cooperation between the state and civil society remains weak and is necessary to create an enabling environment. In this direction, it is necessary to strengthen trust in the social dialogue between employers and employees and the capacity of social partners for policy-making processes. Currently, the effectiveness of their role in the policy-making process is limited. Prevention is a key concept in OSH. In fact, preventing accidents at work and occupational diseases must be the main objective of any OSH management system, much more than trying to solve problems after they occur. This principle is becoming increasingly important as organisations change rapidly (due to globalisation, downsizing, temporary work, part-time work, subcontracting, ageing workforce, etc.), which calls for a dynamic approach to OSH.
The Open Balkans initiative amplifies regional cooperation and connectivity regarding the free movement of people, capital, goods, and services. We connect for the development of our economies, for a common regional and single market without restrictions, without barriers, without borders and for its long-term development that will bring a better working life for every worker.
These challenges, coupled with a lack of interest among the young population to educate themselves in the field of safety and health at work, and thus also to be a professional in the field, seriously speak of a profession whose days are numbered if concrete steps are not taken.
The conference opens its doors to the Balkans every year. This time, from October 25 to October 27, 2023, the Republic of Serbia will welcome the global preventive community in Kopaonik, Grand Kopaonik. Join this international gathering in the safety and health field at work and be part of the professional elite who will discuss and decide in which direction we will move our profession.
The International Conference for regional cooperation of civil society organisations, professionals and other interested parties is a key event in the Balkans for the exchange of information and opinions from occupational safety and health experts, representatives of companies and employees, decision-makers from the government and public authorities, social partners and anyone active in the field of occupational safety and health at work and health.
The general goal is to strengthen the influence of civil society organisations in the region for effective and responsible participation in the processes of policies and reforms for safety and health at work in the Western Balkans.

The main objectives of the Conference are:

  • Regional cooperation and networking of CSOs in IPA countries.
  • Long-term strategic organisational planning and encouraging the level of involvement and involvement of CSOs in the decision-making process related to safe and healthy working conditions.
  • Mapping of institutional mechanisms for cooperation between CSOs and public institutions in the region, thus enabling further research of relations between CSOs and state institutions.

Each country will be represented by participants coming from the respective government structures and civil society. This conference will include relevant key actors in this field, such as associations, EU representatives, EU-OSHA Focal Points, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and other stakeholders.

Thematic areas that will be covered at the conference:

  • The challenges of providing a good occupational health and safety service
  • Good OSH practices that are good for business
  • The challenges of the «Open Balkans» initiative and OSH
  • The media and OSH
  • Promotion of the Prevention Culture
  • National OSH studies
  • Revising the regional OSH strategy
  • Regional OSH challenges

Official languages of the conference: Serbian and English.

For additional information, contact us at:
– For SRB – e-mail:
– For RSM – e-mail:
– For MNE – e-mail:
– For ALB – e-mail:
– For XK – e-mail:

The deadline for registering participation is October 10, 2023.
Waiting for your answer, we greet you!
*The possibility of joining new co-organizers from all IPA countries and Firms (expo) is also open.
For additional information about the listed services, contact us by:
or by phone. +38902 2 774 868 or +389075 432 071

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