WE, the undersigned organizations:

  1. Center for the Politics of Emancipation, Serbia
  2. Institute for Social Policy ‘Musine Kokalari’, Kosovo
  3. Institute for Critique & Social Emancipation, Albania
  4. Women’s Rights Center, Montenegro
  5. Freedom Front, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  6. Open Gate, North Macedonia
  7. Center for Dignified Work, Serbia
  8. Kosovar Stability Initiative, Kosovo
  9. Gender Alliance for Development Center, Albania
  10. Safety at Work Association, Montenegro
  11. Crvena, Association for Culture & Art, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  12. Roza, Association for Women’s Labor Rights, Serbia
  13. Center for Policy & Advocacy, Kosovo
  14. Social Development Investment, Albania
  15. Association for Children & Youth, Montenegro
  16. Zora, Association for Social, Cultural & Creative Development, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  17. A11 Initiative for Economic & Social Rights, Serbia
  18. Lens, Kosovo
  19. Center for Labor Rights, Albania
  20. Together for Life, Albania

Confirming our full support for a more robust regional cooperation and full regional integration of our countries and people;

Having in mind that the freedom of the people to interact and integrate is necessary to our development and wellbeing;

Underlining the importance of peace and prosperity for our region; Stressing the urgency for our region to become part of the European Union;

Evoking the principles and values upon which the EU was founded as guiding principles for our societies;

Upholding the principles of freedom, equality, prosperity and solidarity among our countries and our citizens;

Insisting that our endeavors and energies should strive for a better future;

Focusing on the importance of well-functioning democratic societies based on rule of law, equal treatment of all and social justice;

Strongly urge our governments, regional bodies and respective EU Institutions to include labor rights and social rights within the framework of further economic integration, in particular the Common Regional Market of the WB6. As concerned citizens and advocates for human rights and social justice, we believe that incorporating these critical aspects into the CRM’s framework is not only a moral imperative but also essential for the long-term prosperity and stability of the region.

Specifically we call upon our governments to:

  • Establish a working group or committee dedicated to the integration of labor rights and social rights into the CRM’s framework.
  • Collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including labor unions, civil society organizations, and experts in labor and social policy, to develop comprehensive policies and strategies.
  • Ensure that the WB6 countries align their national legislation with international labor and social rights standards, such as those set forth by the EU Charter for Social Rights, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations.
  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the progress of the WB6 countries in implementing these rights and provide support where necessary.

Labor rights are fundamental human rights that should be upheld and protected in all participating states of the Common Regional Market of the WB6. By including labor rights based on international standards of decent work in the framework, we can ensure fair and just working conditions for all individuals, regardless of their employment status. This includes, but it is not limited to, the right to safe and healthy working environments, living wages, equal opportunities, and the freedom to organize and bargain collectively. Ensuring these rights will not only benefit the workforce but also contribute to economic growth, social cohesion, and the overall well-being of citizens in our region based on international standards of decent work

Social rights encompass a wide range of essential aspects, including access to healthcare, education, housing, and social security. By recognizing and prioritizing social rights, we can address the pressing issues of poverty, inequality, social exclusion and emigration in our region. This, in turn, will promote social cohesion and help bridge the disparities that exist among our citizens. Inclusion of social rights in this framework will also contribute to the development of a more inclusive and equitable society, fostering stability and progress for all. It would stop the labor wage dumping between our countries that can be observed, leading to the alarming fact that in some labor intense sectors wages are lower than in much poorer parts of the world, expressed in purchasing power. The label of “Made in Europe” should not serve to cover unfair working conditions.

By taking these steps, we can demonstrate our commitment to the well-being and dignity of our citizens and set a positive example of responsibility. It is our sincere hope that the Common Regional Market will seize this opportunity to prioritize labor rights and social rights in its framework, creating a more just and prosperous future for all.