LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
Please allow me on behalf of the Association of the Bulgarian Employers Organizations to congratulate you on being elected to this important position and to wish a successful work and fruitful outcomes to the 104th International Labor Conference.
The Director-General’s report and this year’s ILC agenda have addressed the global social challenges and the role of ILO and its constituents prior to the forthcoming 100 years’ anniversary in ensuring sustainable growth, enabling environment for SMEs and job creation, transitioning from informal economy, and adequate labor protection.
We believe this approach enhances the ILO’s main role as a global forum and effective instrument for implementation of core international labor standards and achieving economic and social prosperity of our societies.
Last year Bulgarian employers opposed some attempts, even though isolated, for ignoring social dialogue in setting national minimum wage without a preliminary impact assessment, in introducing basic changes to the social security model, adopting disputable unilateral criminal liability of employers for social contributions evasion and encouraging a politically convenient behavior in industrial relations.
The Bulgarian employers will continue to defend their positions, based on the provisions of the Constitution and the applicable ILO conventions. The Bulgarian employers rely on and appreciate the extremely valuable experience of ILO and its constituents in settling similar cases. I would also like to further stress our good cooperation with International Organization of Employers and the support received from the ILO's ACT/EMP and the team for Central and Eastern Europe.
Further, allow me to outline briefly the priorities adopted by Bulgarian employers for reaching basic reforms in education, pension system and labor legislation closely related to the agenda of this year’s conference, as follows:
- Combating overall and youth unemployment and challenges related to large number of young people not in education, employment, or training.
- Alignment of the general and vocational education and training with the labor market needs, implementing necessary legal reforms and enhancing the capacity of competent institutions to implement s.c. dual learning.
- Assuring necessary information for better informed labor market policies (digital personal education and qualification profiles of labor force, regional allocation of employment etc.).
- Adapting pension system to the demographic structure, speeding up delayed reforms for enhancing the three pillars’ system, adopting more adequate requirements on the retirement age, years of service, early retirement provisions etc.
- Reviewing the wage setting mechanism on the sectorial level to reinforce the link with productivity and job creation.
- Expanding flexible work forms such as temporary work agencies, fixed-term and part-time work and other, relevant to the specific employees and employers’ needs and enabling job creation.
Social dialogue, cooperation and strive for economic and social prosperity have no alternative. I would like to close by assuring this highly distinguished forum that the Bulgarian employers are fully devoted and supportive to the efforts of ILO and ILC for achieving this goal which is highly valuable to our societies.
Thank you for your kind attention.