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9th ReSPA Annual Conference on Optimisation of Public Administration

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Hotel Hilton,Podgorica,Montenegro

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9th ReSPA Annual Conference: Western Balkans countries to collaborate more effectively in the optimization of public administration

Podgorica, November 16, 2016 – In order to holistically reflect the complexity of the optimization of public administration in the Western Balkans, the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) has devoted its 9th Annual Conference to a discussion on experiences, methodologies and innovative practices in this process. ReSPA has chosen this topic so as to help demystify optimization as one of most important mechanisms for pushing public administration reforms towards creation of more rational, transparent and accountable services for the citizens of the region.

ReSPA's Annual Conference initiated a more permanent experience exchange and concrete follow-up activities related to the systemic changes needed for effective optimization of public administration. One of the key Conference conclusions is the recognized necessity for change in the current organizational culture in public administrations. This sector should introduce and insist on quality management, rewarding success, learning from failures and punishing inaction.  

At the opening of the Annual Conference, ReSPA’s Director Ms. Ratka Sekulovic, quoting the EC’s 2016 Enlargement package findings, pointed out that public administrations must be able to keep up with the fast-changing political, economic and social environment and growing technological requests so as to fulfil their responsibility to protect public interest without jeopardizing the necessary development.

For the purpose of preparation of the relevant discussion document for the Conference, ReSPA commissioned a Comparative Study with Baseline Analysis, which encompasses the state of art in the optimization of public administrations in the Western Balkan countries. Special attention in the Study is given to the importance of regional cooperation.

“The Study emphasizes the importance of regional cooperation of public administrations in the Western Balkans in the optimization process, and indicates possible frameworks of future cooperation, areas of intervention and the role of ReSPA. Our ultimate goal is to help the region in fostering the European Principles of Public Administration as a substantial practical precondition for the accession in the EU”, Ms. Sekulovic said.

The European Union places a particular emphasis on public administration reform in the enlargement countries, but these reforms will fully deliver the desired results only if countries are seriously committed to comprehensive, ambitious and credible reforms, said H.E. Ambassador Aivo Orav, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro at the Annual Conference of ReSPA, an institution that the EU has been supporting since its establishment.

He recalled that the European Commission’s 2016 Enlargement package noted several key issues that need to be addressed in the region when it comes to public administration, ranging from politicisation of civil service, to the quality of policy-making and legal drafting and e-government services. “In most countries, the structure of public administration remains complex and does not ensure sufficient accountability. Citizens' right to good administration and access to information have to be better ensured”, said Ambassador Orav.

Participants in the Annual Conference were 200 practitioners and experts from public administrations of the Western Balkan countries, experts from EU countries, representatives of international organizations (OECD, SIGMA, UN, World Bank), academia and civil society organizations.

Conference video link for 15th November:

Conference video link for 16th Novembar:

Twitter: #ReSPAconf; @ReSPA_EU

Links for the conference video statements:

H.E. Aivo Orav, Head of Delegation and Ambassador of the European Union to Montenegro 

Ms. Ratka Sekulovic, ReSPA Director  

Ms. Gordana Djurovic, ReSPA Comparative study: Optimization of PA in the Western Balkans 

Mr. Drazen Maravic, Assistant minister of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, Republic of Serbia 

Ms. Svetlana Vukovic, Director of Human Resources Management of Montenegro 

Mr. Fatmir Demneri, Director of School of Public Administration, Albania

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