Category Archives: News

GENERAL LABOUR INSPECTORATE EXECUTIVE AGENCY, EDITOR “DEUTSCHE WELLE” AND MP CHRISTIAN MITEV WON “THE BUSINESS TO THE RULES” AWARDS

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) presented the “Business to the Rules” awards for the sixth consecutive year. The awards were presented at an official ceremony in Sofia Hotel Balkan, and guests of the event were Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Tomislav Donchev, Mayor of Sofia Municipality Yordanka Fandakova, Chairmen of the Committees to the 44th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria – Committee on European Affairs and control of European funds Christian Vigenin and Legal Affairs Committee Anna Alexandrova, Minister of Labor and Social Policy Biser Petkov, Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova, ambassadors and more than 100 presentations and the government Sofia municipality, businesses, NGOs and social partners.

General Labor Inspectorate Executive Agency took the prize in the category “For a person or organization that contributed to the restriction and prevention of the informal economy through an active position”. The distinction was awarded for efforts to update the system for online submission, registration and reporting of templates for short-term seasonal farm work in a timely manner. The Director of the Risk Management Directorate at the NRA Nikolai Petkov, the Director of the Copyright and Related Rights Directorate at the Ministry of Culture Mehti Melikov and the Institute for Market Economics also received certificates in the category.

The Member of Parliament Hristian Mitev won the award for “For a legislative act or administrative practice that results in limiting the informal economy and improving the business environment”. The bill submitted by him for amendment of Art. 37, para. 2 of the Accounting Act, which reduced administrative and financial burdens for small businesses in the light, beat the competition of the National Revenue Agency, the Ministry of Tourism and the Legal Affairs Committee of the 44th National Assembly, which were honored with diplomas.

Deutsche Welle’s Bulgarian edition is this year’s winner in the category “Journalist or media contributing to changing public attitudes towards intolerance to the informal economy”. The other nominees and recipients of the award were Nova TV journalist Georgi Georgiev, presenters of Bloomberg TV Bulgaria’s Business Start on Zivka Popatanasova and Hristo Nikolov, and bTV reporter Nelly Todorova.

The nominations for the awards were made through a broad public consultation among the members of Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association, all social partners, members of the Public Council for Restriction and Prevention of the Informal Economy, comprising representatives of a number of state institutions, and the media. The winners were cast by secret ballot from a large expert jury consisting of over 100 distinguished personalities: prominent economists, public figures, media representatives, members of the BICA’s National and Control Councils, the Public Council for the Restriction and Prevention of the Informal Economy, etc.

The competition aims to highlight and reward leading institutions and individuals with an active position and contribution to limiting gray practices. Thus, for a consecutive year, the BICA encourages active action in the fight against the informal economy and promotes the constructive role of business in society for improving the socio-economic environment.

For the past year, the Composite Index on Light Economy, by which BICA measures the bright part of the Bulgarian economy, rose by a record 4.55 points to 79.10. The Association has seen a clear trend of accelerating the shrinking dynamics of the “gray” economy over the past four years, falling to 21% in 2018.

THE FRENCH FEDERATION OF LOCAL PUBLIC ENTERPRISES DELAYED WITH THE GOOD PRACTICES OF THE MUNICIPAL COMPANIES IN SOFIA AND PLOVDIV

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French Federation of Local Public Enterprises (FedEpl) got acquainted with the best practices of municipal companies in the two largest Bulgarian municipalities – the Metropolitan Municipality and the Municipality of Plovdiv. The visit of the French delegation for the exchange of experience was organized with the assistance of Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA).

The Bulgarian Employers’ Organization is a member of the European Center for Employers and Enterprises with Public Participation and Enterprises providing Services of General Interest (CEEP). Through its membership, BICA draws experience and brings to the Bulgarian socio-economic environment the best models and practices of the European economic model.

“The development of services of general interest play an extremely important role in ensuring the social, economic and territorial cohesion of EU countries. They are vital for sustainable development in terms of employment, economic growth, social integration and the environment, both individually and in Europe as a whole. I am delighted that we have the opportunity to create partnerships between Bulgarian and French companies providing services of general interest, “said Assoc. Prof. Borislav Velikov, Member of the BICA’s National Council and Vice Chairman of the SEER Water Working Group.

During the meeting in Sofia, public enterprises such as Sofia Municipal Investment Agency, Sofia Real Estate, and the Center for Urban Mobility were presented. The French delegation also visited the third ray of the subway, as well as bio-waste treatment facilities.

Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, Honorary President of the FedEPl European Committee Jean-Leons DuPont, Secretary-General of BICA and Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee in charge of Budget Dr. Milena Angelova, members of the National Council participated in the meeting of BICA, as well as over 20 representatives of public companies in France.

The French Federation of Local Public Enterprises (FedEpl) was established in 1956. It has a membership of 1 300 local public enterprises employing 65,300 people. The total annual turnover of the companies is nearly EUR 14 billion.

Each year, the French Federation organizes exploratory visits for its members to different European countries in order to obtain more information on the work of local authorities there and how they develop services of general interest. In the last five years, the French Federation of Local Public Enterprises has become familiar with the experience in Hamburg, Seville, Bologna, Vienna and Stockholm.

BICA and Guatemala’s Ambassador Mario Bukaro discuss Opportunities for Business Cooperation

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association and the Ambassador of Guatemala in Israel Mario Bukaro discussed possibilities for enhancing business cooperation between the two countries. It is expected that by the end of July the most representative employer organization in Guatemala and the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce will sign a cooperation agreement. This was made clear after a meeting between representatives of BICA’s Board of Directors and the Guatemalan ambassador, who is in Bulgaria to hand over his credentials.

photo_1The purpose of the agreement is to contribute to better interaction between companies from both countries. During the meeting, the Chairman of BICA Vasil Velev and Ambassador Mario Bucaro stated their readiness to organize a special video seminar, during which Bulgarian and Guatemalan companies will get acquainted with the conditions for doing business and investment opportunities in the countries. A special business delegation from the Central American country is also expected to visit the second half of 2019.

“I believe that together we can contribute to increasing trade relations between Bulgaria and Guatemala. I believe that we can work to increase trade, and we see enormous potential in areas such as the chemical and food industries, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, as well as in tourism”, said Vasil Velev.

During the meeting, the Chairman of BICA presented the activities of an employer organization in Bulgaria and the branch chambers that are members of it.

BICA AND HEALTH PREVENTION CENTER GET OVER 100 INTERNATIONAL AND BULGARIAN HEALTH EXPERTS IN PLOVDIV

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) and  Health Prevention Center gather over 100 international and Bulgarian health prevention experts on June 13 and 14 in Plovdiv. Specialists from Germany, Austria, Macedonia and Bulgaria will participate in a conference and seminar on “Health prevention – European policies and practices”. The forum will be held under the auspices of Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Demographic Policy Mariana Nikolova.

For the first time on June 13, our country will host an international conference on prevention of occupational safety and health, which will bring together representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the Ministry of Health, higher education institutions, employers and trade unions, non-governmental organizations, enterprises.

The event will address and discuss the challenges to the field of health prevention both in our country and in Europe, the introduction of European practices to improve the health and productivity of society. The selected topics of the conference are particularly important and relevant, given the forthcoming health care reform, in which health prevention, according to the National Health Strategy 2020, should be prioritized by the state and business.

The media are invited to attend the conference on June 13 (Thursday), which will start at 10:00 (with registration at 9:30) and will be held in the Imperial Hall of the Imperial Hotel in Plovdiv. You will find a conference program in the app.

Following the international conference, on June 14th, at a special seminar, Bulgarian specialists in this field will have the opportunity to learn about the German and Austrian experience in the prevention of occupational safety and health, as well as the tools for maintaining and strengthening employees.

For the seminar, it is extremely important to note that a presentation by the General Labor Inspectorate under the Disabled Persons Act will be presented.

Apart from her leadership, clarifications will be given on the implementation of the Internal Rules for Verification under the Disabled Persons Act, the criteria for exemption from mandatory quotas of 2% for hiring persons with permanent disability (50% or more), as well as the possibilities for use of alternative employment.

The Internal Rules are expected to be approved by the date of the seminar.

As the response time from employers is limited, this will be of the utmost importance for all Human Resources and OSH Departments of enterprises with more than 50 staff.

Preferential price for the seminar for the members of the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria, the Association for Occupational Medicine and the National Association for Health and Safety at Work – 110 BGN.

BICA AND EUROPEAN CANDIDATE MARIYA GABRIEL DISCUSS “10-point PLAN FOR COMPETITIVE SUSTAINABLE SOCIAL EUROPE INDUSTRY”

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24Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) and MEP’s Maria Gabriel discussed the “10-point Plan for a Competitive Industry for a Sustainable Social Europe”. The document was prepared by the European sectoral employers’ organization CEEMET, which employs 49% of EU manufacturing workers. In early March, BICA General Assembly fully endorsed the Plan’s findings and proposals.

“For voters, the position of the 10-point MP candidates will certainly be a very important guide in deciding who to vote for. The European industry – metalworking, mechanical engineering, electronics, ICT and related technologies – depends on the overall presentation of the overall EU economy. We all want a significant increase in funding for education, better healthcare and higher pensions. The point is that in order to earmark these funds, we have to devise them. And that means first and foremost increasing productivity with the combined efforts of managers, employers and workers, “said BICA Chairman Vasil Velev.

Mr. Velev stressed that the European social model can only be supported by a globally competitive European industry and recalled that although 7% of the world population lives in Europe and generates 22% of world GDP, the 28 countries, member states account for 40% of the world’s social spending. He urged urgent measures to tackle the European labor force shortage by targeting young people with education and qualifications in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, digital technology and making vocational education and training the most preferred choice , including through European Mathematics Mathematics and European scholarships for scarce professions.

BICA has been alarming for years about the growing problem of human resources shortage and has been working systematically to bring the admission plan in Bulgaria in line with the labor market demand, as well as to increase the attractiveness of professions of key importance for Bulgaria’s competitiveness. and preventing the leakage of specialists abroad. However, these crucial reforms will only come to fruition in a few years. On the other hand, the demographic picture and trends make it clear that the only realistic approach to dealing with the deficit is the recruitment of third parties. For this purpose, the so-called Bulgarian card / instead of European Blue Card /, which entitles you to stay and work in the country for a period of 5 years. He also emphasized the need for specific solutions to address the shortage of staff in Bulgaria by facilitating the issuance of residence and work permits in the country through bilateral agreements with third countries and a more flexible labor market.

The current Commissioner has expressed his full support on most of the points in the Plan. In the words of Maryia Gabriel, it is of the utmost importance that the EU restart work on re-industrializing Europe so that it can keep up and compete with the US, China, Russia and India. She also called for less regulation at EU level, saying she would work to create more regulations and fewer directives.

According to the employer organization, consultation with industry should become a natural reflex of politicians at all levels and serve to find solutions to the problems of the real economy and its companies. This will ensure that they are fit for global competition and provide quality jobs, funding social Europe. Particular attention was also given to the need to encourage SMEs and to implement specific support measures, especially with regard to access to finance and to meet the challenges of digitalisation. The AICB has requested support for changing the definition of small and medium-sized enterprises at European level to meet the new economic realities. Because of this definition, SMEs are often outside the scope of European programs, with more than 500 enterprises important to our country being harmed in Bulgaria alone.

BICA has asked future MEPs to work with social partners to better invest European funds from the next Multi Annual Financial Framework, which will focus on initiatives to acquire the right skills in new labor market conditions and business requirements. They insisted on taking into account the views of business and social partners when setting funding priorities and formulating and implementing important policies through joint actions by social partners.

During the talks, special emphasis was placed on our country’s membership of the OECD. As EC Special Representative in the G20, Maria Gabriel has committed to lobbying the representatives of the twenty most developed countries.

The meeting also discussed the possibility of setting up a European Labor Office office in Bulgaria, EU financial instruments such as InvestEU and Horizon Europe, free trade, education and digitalization.

BICA and VMRO Discussed the Possibilities of the Bulgarian Deputies in the New European Parliament

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) and the VMRO MEP candidates discussed the opportunities of Bulgarian representatives in the new European Parliament to work to improve the business climate and support Bulgarian industry and SMEs. On the eve of the election, the employer organization sought the candidates’ position on the “10-point Plan for a competitive industry for a sustainable Social Europe”. The document was prepared by the European sectoral employers’ organization CEEMET, which employs 49% of EU manufacturing workers.

B representatives asked each of the future Bulgarian MEPs to work together with the social partners to ensure better investment of European funds in the next Multi Annual Financial Framework, by revising the definition of small and medium-sized enterprises, facilitating state aid regimes and – fair agricultural policy to the new Member States. They insisted on taking into account the views of business and social partners when setting funding priorities and formulating and implementing important policies through joint actions by social partners.

“BICA has been alarming for years about the growing problem of human resources shortages and works systematically to bring the reception plan in Bulgaria in line with the demand on the labor market, and to increase the attractiveness of professions with a key to Bulgaria’s competitiveness importance and prevention of the leakage of specialists abroad. However, these crucial reforms will only come to fruition in a few years. On the other hand, the demographic picture and trends make it clear that the only realistic approach to dealing with the deficit is the recruitment of third parties. For this purpose, the so-called A Bulgarian card (not a European Blue Card) that entitles you to reside and work in the country for a period of 5 years”, said a Vice Chairman of BICA Nikola Zikatanov during the meeting. Mr. Dzhambazki agreed that the shortage of human resources is an acute problem and stressed and there is a need to actively work with the Bulgarian diaspora to provide education and work opportunities in Bulgaria.

According to employers, consultation with industry must become a natural reflex of politicians at all levels and serve to find solutions to the problems of the real economy. This will ensure that it is fit for global competition and provides quality jobs, funding social Europe. Particular attention was also paid to the need to encourage SMEs and to implement support measures, especially with regard to access to finance and to meet the challenges of digitalisation.

According to Nikola Zikatanov for the voters, the position of the candidates for the 10-point Plan will be a very important guide in deciding who to vote for. The European industry – metalworking, mechanical engineering, electronics, ICT and related technologies – depends on the overall presentation of the overall EU economy. He added that for a sharp increase in education, better health and higher pensions, there should be productivity gains that require the combined efforts of managers, employers and workers.

BICA firmly stated that the European social model can only be supported by a globally competitive European industry and recalled that, although 7% of the world population lives in Europe and generates 22% of world GDP, the 28 countries, Member States account for 40% of social spending worldwide.

Other topics discussed by the BICA and VMRO representatives were the possibilities of joining forces for an active promotional campaign to elect Bulgaria as the seat of the European Labor Authority, the termination of state aid for the so-called. US headquarters, reducing the EU’s over-regulation on business, securing our country’s membership of the OECD.

BICA took part in Informal Consultations on the Evening of the Summit for the Future of Europe in Sibiu

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“The European social model can only be sustainable if it is supported by a competitive industry,”said BICA Secretary-General Dr Milena Angelova during an informal meeting with EU Council President Donald Tusk and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, with Employment Commissioner Marianne Tissen and European social partners ahead of the upcoming Sibiu Summit on 9 May. She participated in the meeting as acting Chair of the European Center for Public Services Enterprises and Vice-Chair of the European Economic and Social Committee.

In her words, the recent slowdown in EU economic growth has shown that European economies are too dependent on the global economic environment. “This is a reason to work even harder to promote cohesion and economic and social progress”, added Dr Angelova during the informal meeting. She stressed the importance of a competitive industry, as well as the importance of investing in Europe, and especially of education, qualification and retraining. It also touched on the problem of human resources shortages, saying that it could not be resolved without timely reforms in the education systems of the Member States. The planning and implementation of such reforms should be appropriately supported and promoted in the preparation of the future Multiannual Financial Framework, through joint action by the social partners and public institutions.

The aim of the event was for the social partners in Europe to share their expectations for the development of the European Union and to contribute to the text of the Strategic Agenda for Europe 2019-2024, which EU leaders and Member States will discuss and adopt during at the informal summit in Sibiu on May 9. The social partners also presented their joint declaration on the importance of the rule of law.

Among the main topics discussed by the Presidents of the most important European institutions and European employers’ and trade union organizations were the digitization and the need for human resources with skills and knowledge sought in the labor market, the creation of policies and instruments for strengthening the EU, investment and the convergence of regions.

Employers’ organizations supported Ms Angelova’s stated need for urgent policies to tackle staffing shortages and promote skills and retraining to meet labor market needs, as the shortage of skilled labor in the EU is becoming a major factor, holding back economic growth. The meeting also called for improving and increasing investment in education systems and increased access to lifelong learning.

According to the participants, sustainable investments, instruments and policies in key physical and social infrastructures are essential to stimulate and promote the process of strengthening, converging and enhancing the Union’s competitiveness. They demanded that the need for investment be made more explicit in the final statement in Sibiu.

The meeting was attended by the chairmen and secretaries-general of the BUSINESSEUROPE Confederation, the European Center for Employers and Public Interest Enterprises and Services of General Interest (CEEP), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Crafts Association and SMEs (SMEUnited).

Letter from AOBE for electricity prices

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TO
MR BOYKO BORISOV,
PRIME MINISTER

MR TOMISLAV DONCHEV
VICE MINISTER – PRESIDENT

MRS TEMENUZHKA Petkov,
Minister of Energy

OPEN LETTER

DEAR MR BORISOV,
DEAR MR DONCHEV
DEAR MRS PETKOVA, 2
National representative employers’ organizations – BICA, BIA, BCCI and CEIBG whose members employ 82% of employees in Bulgaria and generate 86% of gross value added in the country anxiously monitor what is happening in the free market segment “Day ahead” of the electricity market. Our productions are exposed to strong competitive pressure on European and international markets. What is happening with electricity prices further jeopardize production growth, investment and competitiveness of the industry.
Lacking any effort to reduce the cost of government headquarters in NPP, “Maritza East 2″ EAD and NEK and ensure that they are at least medium-term future. Extremely inefficient management of state waters plants on the one hand, to higher prices on the open electricity market, on the other – to high losses of some plants. We categorically declare that the combination of this transfer of energy problems to the industry on the one hand, and shrinking business consumption, on the other hand, would be detrimental to the economy of Bulgaria.
The high prices of recent days are caused by sharp declines in the supply of electricity from NEK. To 07.05.2019, the supply of NEC is 13 477 MWh, the price is 79.41 lev for MWh. To 05.08.2019, the supply of NEC is ONLY for 4309 MWh, which forms the price of 164.60 lev to 09/05/2019, NEK again offers 4309 MWh and the price is 130.56 lev What have shrinking supply energy from the NEC over three times? Why NEC continues to offer quantities are insufficient? Indeed, the companies in the composition of the Bulgarian Energy Holding comply with commitments to the European Commission to ensure minimum liquidity, but their formal limit to the approved levels in the short term supply obviously leads to deficits in trading volumes of the free market and the unjustified high prices.
There are barriers to imports of electricity! Slowed down the introduction of an integrated market “Intraday” and consumers are left gravity of moods in state power and in particular NEK. Prices range from 100 to 210 lev / MWh for peak electricity within two consecutive days on market “Day Ahead”, while “compensation” unmet demand market segment “During the day” ended on 08/05/2019, the and prices in excess of 247 lev / MWh at only 451 MWh traded volume for 24 hours!
As representatives of employers from the industrial sector, we:
1. We strongly oppose the inadequate behavior of NEK, which is systematic and apparently will not change without a change of leadership.
2. We demand to overcome the artificial deficit as BEH subsidiaries are bidding on the “day ahead” adequate amounts in pricing structure analogous to approved the engagement with the European Commission. We appreciate this deficit of about 80-100 MW, which is even below the capacity of the small block of “Maritsa East 2″.
3. This restructuring of NEK EAD by separating the activities of public supply and production and marketing of electricity in order to avoid manipulations.

4. We demand the creation of conditions for effective competition between electricity producers, taking measures to restructure the public sector in the energy market integration with neighboring countries in all market segments.

5. We demand adequate compensation for industry, incl. indirect emission costs.

6. Given the need for issuance of Order e-RD-16-193 / 04.09.2019 of the Minister of Energy, which instead provide electricity for the free market, engage 600 000 MWh to 06/30/2019, from ” TPP Maritsa east 2 “for a regulated market, which only two months seized tens of millions Levs of the Fund” security of the electricity system, “insisting to organize a thorough examination at NEC and EDC (incl. signaling KEVR and Prosecution) real causes of the premature exhaustion of the quota provided electr energy for the regulated market.

Start оf the nominations for “Business to the Rules” awards competition

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) has announced the start of the nominations for the annual Economy of Light Awards for 2018, which will be presented at an upcoming ceremony on July 1, 2019 at 6:00 pm at Sofia Hotel Balkan.

The aim of the annual and widely acclaimed competition is to highlight stimulating examples of success in the fight against the informal economy and to distinguish leading institutions and individuals with an active position and contribution to curbing the informal economy. The awards are part of BICA’s overall work to increase public intolerance of the informal economy, encourage active action in this direction, and promote the constructive role of business in society to improve the socio-economic environment.

The Light Economy Award for 2018 will be awarded in three categories:

  • For a regulation or administrative practice that results in limiting the informal economy and improving the business environment.
    Awarded to a state / municipal administration or its representatives for proposing / introducing a regulatory act or administrative practice that leads to an effective restriction of the gray sector and improvement of the business environment.
  • For a person or organization that has contributed to limiting and preventing the informal economy through an active position.
    Awarded to a person, NGO, scientific organization, company that has extensive research on the topic, permanent and active media appearances, or has generated proposals for changes in legal acts and / or administrative practices, etc.
  • For a journalist or media contributing to changing public attitudes towards intolerance to the informal economy.
    It is awarded to a journalist or media for contributing to the current and multilateral coverage of problems and achievements related to activities to curb and prevent the informal economy, to promoting and promoting bright businesses and to building public intolerance of the informal sector.

According to the adopted regulation, nominations are made by BICA members, social partners, members of the Public Council on Light Economy and the media. For more information, see the attached letter and download the nomination form HERE.

The nomination deadline is May 17, 2019.

BICA hosts the International Coordinating Council of Employers’ Unions

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) will host the General Assembly of The meeting of representatives of the largest employers’ organizations in Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Bulgaria will be held on April 1st in Sofia Hotel Balkan.

During the event in Sofia the possibilities for reforms of the educational systems will be discussed, in order to overcome the gaps between the skills and knowledge of employees and the requirements and needs of the labor market. These discrepancies are one of the biggest challenges currently threatening the growth and creation of sustainable jobs globally. For example, they are causing Europe to lose EUR 0.80 per hour worked because of reduced productivity and are a factor slowing down economic growth. According to the European Commission, all Member States are experiencing a similar problem, although for different reasons and for different reasons. According to data from an international survey in ten Member States, this indicator is above the global average of 45%, with the worst in Romania (81%), Bulgaria (68%) and Greece (61%). At the other end of the spectrum, with lower values ​​but still with significant problems, are Ireland (18%), the United Kingdom (19%) and the Netherlands (24%).

The General Assembly will be opened with opening remarks by the chairman of BICA and the host of the event, Mr. Vasil Velev, and the president of the largest Polish employers’ organization, Andrzej Malinowski, who is also the rotating chairman of the ICCEU. During the meeting in Sofia, the President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Russia, Alexander Shokhin, will present the experience of Russian employers in harmonizing the labor market. Dr Milena Angelova, Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee and Secretary-General of the BICA, will present the support of educational systems to overcome the gaps between labor market demand and supply.

Vice President of the International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Vyacheslav Pshennikov will also take a special part in the session of the General Assembly of the ICCEU.


 

About the ICCEU

The International Coordinating Council of Employers’ Unions was established in 2010. It is composed of nationally representative employers’ organizations from fourteen countries in Eastern and Central Europe and Asia. Its aim is to facilitate the establishment of sustainable links and cooperation between national unions of employers and entrepreneurs, to exchange experience in the field of regulation of social and labor relations, to devise measures to accelerate economic growth in view of similar economic problems in the countries of region.

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