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International Cooperation

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.

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. In the period from 19 to 21 March 2024, the Croatian Employment Service was visited by the assessors of the European Network of Public Employment Services, within the 4th cycle of the Benchlearning project.

During the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in June 2020, the Croatian Employment Service organized the 13th meeting of the Board of the European Network of Public Employment Services. During the Croatian Presidency, 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, its working groups and Benchlearning project, it took an active role in the subgroup of the Employment Committee (Group for EMCO Indicators), EURES working groups, as well as in other formats for the exchange of experiences of PES experts.

The Croatian Employment Service cooperates with partners from EU member states, neighbouring countries and other countries. We have established cooperation and contacts, among others, with the following countries: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Finland, France, Kosovo, Hungary, North Macedonia, the Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Sweden, Türkiye, Ukraine, etc. The CES maintains and fosters good international, that is, good neighbourly relations with all its partners, and has valid cooperation agreements with public employment services from the following countries:

  • Germany,
  • Hungary,
  • Montenegro,
  • North Macedonia,
  • Türkiye,
  • Ukraine.

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 Türkiye, and the organization operates on the principle of a rotating presidency. The presiding public employment service of the CPESSEC in 2024 is the Romanian Public Employment Service.

The Croatian Employment Service presided over the CPEESEC in 2021, when it organized a managerial conference on the future of work and employment after the COVID-19 pandemic and an expert conference on PES support to employers in the post-pandemic period. The CES also published the Statistical Bulletin for the CPESSEC member countries. The Croatian Employment Service will next chair the CPESSEC in 2031.

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.