In the framework of the conference »Building a Western Balkans Alliance for Work-based Learning«, organised by Austria in the framework of the Berlin Process, the joint statement endorsed by conference participants called on Education Reform Initiative of South Eastern Europe (ERI SEE) and the Western Balkans Chambers Investment Forum to explore ways of joining forces for initiating a »Western Balkans Alliance for Work based Learning« in order to promote high quality, labour market relevant VET through strengthening elements of dual systems and other forms of work based learning and enhancing the overall co-operation between the private and the public sector in VET.
The Western Balkans Alliance for Work-based Learning (WBA 4 WBL) was therefore established by the joint work of the VET centres from the region, gathered under the network South East Europe Vocational Education and Training Network – SEEVET Net and coordinated by ERI SEE on the one hand, and chambers of commerce from the region gathered under the Western Balkans Chambers Investment Forum. Their joint work truly presents the partnership between education and business sector, relevant for any modernization of VET. It includes representatives of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia, Kosovo*, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia, and Croatia and Moldova as associated partners.
As mentioned above, the WBA 4 WBL is closely connected to the Berlin process – the initiative of the German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, the prime ministers, ministers of foreign affairs and ministers of economy of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and EU Member States Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Italy, France, as well as the representatives of the European Commission. Its primary goal is reaching a mutual agreement about enhancing regional cooperation in the Western Balkans and solving the remaining issues in the region.
Within the Berlin process, the annual summits are being organized, all emphasizing the importance of regional cooperation and stating the progress in certain areas, such as cooperation in the education and training sectors; the youth, connection in the transport and energetics sectors, and many others.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.