A network and online platform of labour law

Introducing CEELex, the labour legislation database for Central and Eastern Europe

The ILO recently launched CEELex which is the only searchable, English-language online database offering information on the national labour laws in Central and Eastern Europe. Established in 2015 to respond to an increasing demand of policy makers for technical advice on labour legislation, CEELex has recently gone public to reach a wider audience. The topics covered by the new online platform range from collective bargaining to working conditions (i.e. minimum wage, working hours), termination of employment contracts, labour dispute resolution, and non-standard forms of employment.

News | 07 April 2020
The database includes summaries of relevant provisions  of labour laws and regulations. Users can browse legislation by country and theme, and compare countries. For instance, if you want to compare the regulatory framework for Freedom of Association in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, CEELex enables you to find out the details. The database includes 13 countries from Central and Eastern Europe and will be further expanded. 

What is good about CEELex? We asked two legal experts who are regular users of the database.

„When I use CEELex, I find it easy to search the specific normative solutions in the national labour legislations and industrial relations systems in the region."

Aleksandar Ristovski is Assistant Professor of Labour Law in Skopje, North Macedonia and a national expert in the CEELex Network. „When I use CEELex, I find it easy to search the specific normative solutions in the national labour legislations and industrial relations systems in the region. The database is comprehensive and contains legal provisions both from collective and individual labour law.” Aleksandar appreciates that CEELex can be useful for a broad scope of users: policy-makers, government officials, labour law practitioners, professors, students, researchers, trade unionists, employers, labour judges or those handling labour disputes.  He often refers to CEELex in his capacity as labour law professor and also as an expert who participates in  legal reforms in his country. „As professor, I often share with my students the comparative legislation I find in the database from the different CEE countries. For instance, we examined what the conditions are for establishing trade unions and for representativeness of trade unions and employers’ organizations in the respective countries. We looked at levels of collective bargaining, the legal effect and personal scope of application of collective agreements, regulation of different non-standard forms of employment. As an expert, I used the provisions in CEELex to develop my stances and write my studies on permissibility of trade union security clauses, on collective agreements and on the regulation of certain non-standard forms of work not yet covered by Macedonian national labour law.”

"CEELex is not only a database, it is a functioning network of people who regularly communicate with each other."


Attila Kun
is Professor of Labour Law and Social Security from Budapest, Hungary and a national expert in the CEELex Network. He thinks one of the most important benefits of CEELex is that it puts the countries of Central and Eastern Europe on one common platform. The labour law traditions and challenges of the Central and Eastern European countries are similar—much more similar than if we compare them with western countries, which has been the practice. „It makes a lot of sense to learn from each other instead of exporting legal solutions from contexts that are often alien to us. The countries of the region are competitors, too—so we have to know and understand each other well.” Language is also an important factor of the success of CEELex. The languages of the region are unique, spoken by a small number of people, and there has been few labour law texts available in translation so far that would  enable comparative legal studies.  Legislation of founding EU member countries is easy to access in world languages--CEELex fills this void for the region. Attila adds that „CEELex is not only a database, it is a functioning network of people who regularly communicate with each other. Members maintain stable professional contacts and receive support at CEELex events and meetings. They exchange opinions and share practices from their countries on legal solutions, initiate cooperation and joint projects. This is extremely important, I myself benefited from these exchanges several times.”

CEELex proved to be instrumental in providing evidence-based technical support in labour law reforms In Montenegro, North Macedonia,  the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. It has enabled the Office to devise recommendations on specific labour and industrial related matters and to be able to meet in a timely and professional manner the requests of concerned policy makers.

The CEELex Network meets once a year to discuss research papers on  topics  of high relevance for the world of work, selected by the members. A working paper  reflecting the research findings and conclusions is made available every year.

The CEELex database is updated once a year by its members.  It can be accessed here, with a short tutorial on what the database offers and how to use it. It is estimated that over 700 users have accessed CEELex in the last year. 

CEELex annual updating  and all related events and online publications have been supported with funding of the European Union.