Employment and Social Affairs Platform - ESAP

The "Employment and Social Affairs Platform" (ESAP) is a 3 million Euro project financed by the European Union and jointly implemented by RCC and ILO in the Western Balkan economies. The project team is based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


ESAP is implemented over 3 years, from March 2016 to April 2019. It strengthens regional cooperation and institutional capacities of national administrations, employers’ and workers’ organizations, enabling them to develop and effectively implement employment and social policy reforms in their EU enlargement process.

RCC and ILO implement targeted activities together with public administrations, employers’ and workers’ organizations. The activities are organised around six overall themes.

  • Social Dialogue - ESAP contributes to improving the functioning of Economic and social Councils (ESCs) in the Western Balkans, through enhancing their institutional and technical capacity so as to become relevant actors in policy dialogue and institutional development of the labour market institutions with a view to creating more and better jobs.
  • Labour Disputes - The activities provided by ESAP aim to enhance the mechanisms for the amicable settlement of labour disputes and facilitate an interactive sharing of experience and good practices of alternative labour disputes resolution, which will support the participating countries shape disputes prevention policies and workplace strategies.
  • Labour Inspection - The development assistance focuses on the strengthening and modernization of labour inspection taking into consideration international labour standards and the general principles deriving from ratified ILO conventions. A network of labour inspectorates in the Western Balkans will be established based on selected elements from the Senior Labour Inspectors Committee (SLIC) existing at the EU level.
  • CEELex - The Central Eastern European Labour Legislation database (CEELex) is a legal database containing labour and industrial relations related legal texts. It identifies national legal and institutional solutions set out in the national legal systems in Central and Eastern European countries using as benchmarks the provisions of ILO Conventions.
  • Employment Strategy and Policy Making - ESAP supports national administrations in enhancing their capacities for improved policy outcomes and policy reviews related to the prioritized employment and social policies. This entails the implementation of mutual learning events based on peer reviews on selected employment policies or programmes in order to enhance the impact of policy making and implementation as well as targeted support to beneficiaries.
  • Benchlearning among Public Employment Services - ESAP supports the creation of a systematic and integrated link between performance benchmarking and mutual learning activities. This entails a comparison of the performance of public employment services against relevant benchmarks with the aim of identifying good practices and fostering mutual learning that will enhance organizational development and improved performance of PES offices.

Implementing organizations

The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) serves regional cooperation and European and Euro-Atlantic integration of South East Europe in order to spark development in the region to the benefit of its people. RCC works to reduce – and where possible remove – the obstacles to increased mobility, enhanced connectivity and improved competitiveness in SEE, while also contributing to better governance, improved functioning of the rule of law and enhanced security in the region. The RCC has 46 participants. The organisation, headed by the Secretary General, Goran Svilanovic, is financed by the European Union and its SEE and other Board participants. It has a Secretariat based in Sarajevo, and a Liaison Office in Brussels.
More at: www.rcc.int

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a tripartite agency under the United Nations. Since 1919, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
The ILO ESAP action is managed by the ILO Decent Work Team/Country Office in Budapest which provides advisory services, capacity development and technical assistance to governments and to employers’ and workers’ organizations in areas including rights at work, employment creation, social protection, social dialogue and gender equality in the framework of Decent Work Country Programmes.
More at: www.ilo.org and www.ilo.org/budapest

Project Contacts

Nand Shani

Nand Shani
Team Leader for RCC ESAP

UNITIC Building B, 9th floor
Fra Andjela Zvizdovica 1, 71000 Sarajevo, BiH

E-mail: nand.shani@rcc.int

Susanne M. Nielsen

Susanne M. Nielsen
Team Leader for ILO ESAP

UNITIC Building B, 12th floor
Fra Andjela Zvizdovica 1, 71000 Sarajevo, BiH

Email: nielsen@ilo.org

Sanda Topic

Sanda Topic
Project Assistant

UNITIC Building B, 12th floor
Fra Andjela Zvizdovica 1, 71000 Sarajevo, BiH

E-mail: sanda.topic@rcc.int

Melisa Osmic

Melisa Osmic
Project Assistant

UNITIC Building B, 9th floor
Fra Andjela Zvizdovica 1, 71000 Sarajevo, BiH

Email: nielsen@ilo.org