Study Visit to Copenhagen

CopenhagenFor the purpose of getting acquainted with the Nordic model of Cooperation, the Igman Initiative organized a Study Visit to the Nordic Council in Copenhagen on May 12th 2014 as part of the project activities. The Igman Initiative delegation included Dragica Misljenovic, independent expert of the Igman Initiative and Ariana Nikolic, expert of the Montenegrin Government – Director of the Montenegrin Directorate for Work Force and Labor Market.

The host of the Study Visit was Torkil Sorensen, Senior Advisor at the Nordic Council while in the presentation of the functioning of the Nordic Council participated Johan Lindblad, Senior Advisior to the Nordic Council of Ministers, Vilborg Hauksdottir, Senior Advisor at the Nordic Council of Ministers for Health and Social Affairs and Jakob Schmidth, Senior Advisor at the Nordic Council of Ministers for Freedom of Movement. The Nordic model of cooperation is merely based on the exceptionally developed social dialogue. Every year the Nordic Council identifies priority issues about which it will be making decisions. In February 2014 the Nordic countries signed the Declaration The Nordic Region – together we are stronger, in which it has been emphasized “…that globalization, resource consumption and economic crisis pose challenges to the Nordic welfare model and regional co-operation is growing in importance.” One of the specified areas is Freedom of Movement for it has been stated that “One of the key challenges faced by Nordic co-operation is to create the best possible conditions for people and companies to move freely between the countries.” The goal is to secure the renewal of national legislation in a manner that will guarantee that the harmonization with the European Union legislation will not impose new barriers to the Nordic countries in the area of free movement of people in the Nordic region. It would be optimal to apply the same model among the countries signatories of the Dayton Agreement, especially in the area of health insurance – a person who becomes the citizens of Denmark is entitled to obtain the health insurance card in the municipality of his residency, regardless of his legal work status.

The Study Visit was concluded with the meeting with Petrom Bolhboro, Secretary of Financial Committee at the Danish Parliament, which is currently drafting recommendations for the amendment of the legislation in the area of social affairs, for the reason that the Government deems that social benefits are too high and should be adjusted to financial capabilities. Sufficient financial means are being allocated for active employment measures. Unemployment rate in Denmark is about 7%.

Dragica Misljenovic,

Independent Expert of the Igman Initiative