The activities of international cooperation of the Croatian Employment Service (CES) refer primarily to the following activities: promotion of cooperation with institutions and organizations of the same and similar purposes, fostering of the already established cooperation, organization of international conferences, workshops, seminars and other international gatherings on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. The International Cooperation Division provides support to all departments of the CES in connection with activities at the international level.
International cooperation of the CES is based on bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements concluded between the CES and public employment services from other countries. With those foreign partners, that the CES does not have signed agreements with, cooperation is established on the basis of direct inter-institutional arrangements.
The cooperation of the CES with other institutions is also based on the membership in the European Network of Public Employment Services. The Croatian Employment Service is an active member of this Network, whose work was formalized by the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council of 15 May 2014 on enhanced cooperation between public employment services. The members of the Network are the public employment services of all 27 EU Member States, as well as Norway, Iceland and the European Commission. The aim of the Network is fostering the cooperation between the Member States in areas under the responsibility of public employment services. Benchlearning is a central activity of the European Network of Public Employment Services. It aims to improve the performance of European public employment services in tackling the challenges of the European labour market through mutual learning and the exchange of examples of good practice. A virtual visit of the assessors of the European Network of Public Employment Services to the Croatian Employment Service was organized in the period from 23 to 26 March 2021, within the 3rd cycle of the Benchlearning project.
Previously, on 5 June 2020, during the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Croatian Employment Service organized the 13th meeting of the Board of the European Network of Public Employment Services. During the Croatian Presidency, Mr Ante Lončar, Director General of the Croatian Employment Service, held the position of Second Vice Chair of the Network.
With the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union, the CES ceased to be an observer in the European institutions responsible for the labour market and employment, and, alongside with its participation in the European Network of Public Employment Services, it took an active role in the following bodies: subgroups of the Employment Committee (Group for EMCO Indicators and Group for Policy Analysis), the EURES Working Group, the Partnership of Public and Private Employment Services (PARES), the PES-to-PES Dialogue as well as other formats for the exchange of experiences of PES experts.
The Croatian Employment Service cooperates with partners from EU member states, neighboring countries and other countries. We have established cooperation and contacts with the following countries: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Finland, France, Kosovo, Hungary, North Macedonia, the Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkmenistan, Turkey, etc. The CES maintains and fosters good international, that is, good neighborly relations with all its partners, and has so far concluded official cooperation agreements with public employment services from the following countries:
At the regional level, the Croatian Employment Service maintains multilateral cooperation by membership in the Centre of Public Employment Services of Southeast European Countries (CPESSEC), a regional non-profit organization that brings together national public employment services or ministries responsible for employment policies and labour markets in this part of Europe. The members of CPESSEC are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Croatia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey, and the organization operates on the principle of a rotating presidency. Accordingly, the CES took over the presidency of the Centre in 2021, and it will organize a managerial and an expert conference on current topics in the second part of 2021. It will also publish the Statistical Bulletin of the CPESSEC member countries. Previously, the Croatian Employment Service presided the CPESSEC in 2011, when it also duly fulfilled its obligations at the international level.
At the global level, the Croatian Employment Service maintains multilateral cooperation by active membership in the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES). The association was founded in 1988/89 and it has over 85 members. The CES joined this Association in 1999, and in the period from 2001 to 2018 it also acted as a member of the Managing Board. In May 2009, the Croatian Employment Service successfully organized the Eighth WAPES World Congress, alongside with supporting activities related to the business operations of the Association. In May 2012, at the Ninth WAPES World Congress the CES was elected co-Vice-President for the WAPES Europe region for the period 2012 - 2015 and in May 2015 at the Tenth WAPES World Congress it was re-elected member of the Managing Board for the 2015 - 2018 period. In 2018 at the Eleventh WAPES World Congress and the General Assembly, the CES stepped down as Managing Board member, but kept an active interest in the activities of the Association.