Sustainable development in Western Balkan countries: An analysis of decent work and economic growth

  • Tomasz Grodzicki Department of Economic Policy and Regional Studies, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland
Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), economic growth, the Western Balkans (WB)


The Western Balkan countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, participate in the framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. In total, there are 193 countries committed to fulfilling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was implemented in 2015. One of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals is to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all. This goal is expressed in the following indicators: employment and unemployment rates, people killed in accidents at work, real GDP per capita, resource productivity, and domestic material consumption. The aim of this paper is to analyze SDG 8 in the Western Balkan economies. Since the Western Balkan countries are EU candidates or potential candidates, comparing their performance with the EU average is vital. The results show that although Western Balkan countries have improved their performance, they still fall behind the EU average. They should focus more on increasing their economic growth rates and providing more sustainable workplaces. Therefore, future actions to be enhanced by the economic policy in the Western Balkans should include the implementation of legal facilitations for start-ups and other firms in order to boost the stimulus for entrepreneurship, develop sustainable migration policy, and promote stable forms of employment.


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