Free access to the labor market within the Open Balkan

Representatives from Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania signed two protocols that will enable the formation of a free labor market for the member countries included as part of that initiative. The protocols were signed on Monday, January 22, 2024, in Skopje.

The idea of the free labor market will allow workers from any of the member countries (Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania) to work in the other two countries without the need to obtain any residence or work permits or to complete any administrative procedures.

Through integrated online government systems, workers can view open positions and submit job applications online using their "Open Balkan ID number," which can be obtained by logging into their existing account on their home country's government portal (e.g., e-Uprava for Serbia).

The free access to the labor market is expected to come into force on March 1, 2024.

The Open Balkan’s free labor market will contribute to the creation of a better business environment for both domestic and foreign companies. It will also help in overcoming the shortage of local labor force.

Previously, Open Balkans member countries signed the agreement on the mutual recognition of diplomas and academic titles and memorandums of cooperation in several areas. Crossing the border for the nationals of these three countries is allowed with an ID card only.

By establishing the Open Balkans in 2019, all three member states aim to increase trade and cooperation by allowing the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital.

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