Reshaping work Conference

23 & 24 April, Belgrade, Serbia

“This conference represents one of the few relevant forums that raises questions about the effects of profound changes taking place in the world of platform work in the region and have a far-reaching impact on workers, companies and societies in Eastern and Southeastern Europe,” said Branka Andjelkovic, founder and program director of the Public Policy research Centre. The European Union is a global pioneer in regulating the status of these workers and is a role model for countries in the region.

“Digital technologies, artificial intelligence and algorithmic management are transforming the world of work. With the recently adopted European Platform Work Directive, the European Union is introducing a legal framework that will open up opportunities for businesses and workers. This will ensure fairness, inclusion and safety at work. The new rules also ensure that artificial intelligence is human-centered and reliable, empowering people in the workplace. The European Commission stands ready to help Member States implement these new rules as soon as possible so that we stay ahead of time,” said Manuela Geleng of the EU Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, who addressed the participants at the start of the conference.

The keynote speakers and panelists agreed that the countries with a large number of platform workers need to expand social protection coverage to this labour force too; to innovate the insurance packages for these workers in partnership with the platforms themselves; and to support reskiling and upskilling of these workers.

These initiatives should go hand in hand with regulatory changes to clarify and improve the status of platform workers.  In this regard, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) recent Law and Practise report report marks a crucial milestone in the process that can lead to a new international labour standard on decent work in the platform economy. “This so called White Report provides up-to-date information on platform work and the regulations and practices related to it from around the world. This report is intended to inform the discussions at the 2025-2026 Standard Setting on Platform Economy and to help Member States address this new phenomenon”  said Annarosa Pesole, ILO’s Labour Market Specialist, and one of the experts leading the process in her concluding keynote address.  This raises hope that job security, workers’ rights, social protection coverage, and data protection for platform workers can be ensured in the future.

The conference was supported by the COST action Platform Work Inclusion Living Lab (P-WILL), EU Delegation to Serbia, European Training Foundation, Institute of Economic Sciences from  Belgrade, and Glovo.