The meeting of the Governing Board at Ministerial Level – Reconfirms the Support of ReSPA members to the mandate of ReSPA
17 November 2023, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Minister Azir Aliu, newly appointed ex-officio Chair of the Governing Board of ReSPA: Fostering dialogue and enhancing regional cooperation in the focus of the mandate
Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted the 15th Governing Board Meeting at Ministerial Level which brought together Elisa Spiropali, Albanian Minister of State for Parliament Relations, Davor Bunoza, Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Maraš Dukaj, Minister of Public Administration of Montenegro, Azir Aliu, Minister of Information Society and Administration of North Macedonia and Maja Mačužić-Puzić, State Secretary of Serbia. The meeting reflected the recognition of the work done by ReSPA in the last year and adopted: i) the ReSPA Annual Report, ii) the Budget 2024-2025 and iii) the annual contribution of each Member to the ReSPA Core Budget (Envelope 2024).
Since November 2022, ReSPA has delivered approximately 80 learning initiatives, capacity-building actions, mobility schemes and on-demand technical assistance through which supported, inter alia, the development of important PAR and Public Financial Management (PFM) strategic frameworks in Albania and North Macedonia; Cybersecurity Action Plan in Albania, as well as the preparation of important learning content of the Digital Academy in Montenegro, along with an upgrade of Learning Management Systems (LMS) for public administration in Serbia. ReSPA’s technical assistance instruments supported the network of public servants from Bosnia and Hercegovina dealing with impact assessment to undergo a tailor-made learning initiative for a more comprehensive RIA framework in the country. Throughout ReSPA activities, over the last year, ReSPA has empowered close to 1,200 civil servants from the Western Balkans and engaged close to 200 experts and practitioners from the region, the European Union, and beyond.
The Chair in Office of the ReSPA Governing Board since November 2022, Minister Davor Bunoza, praised the work of ReSPA during his mandate as Chair and highlighted the direct support that Bosnia and Herzegovoina has received by ReSPA either through the regional capacity building actions & exchange or through the ReSPA Direct support instruments.
Director Handjiska-Trendafilova emphasized ReSPA's dedication to supporting the region's PAR agenda: “Upon completion of EC’s last grant to ReSPA and ambitious programme activities supported by the current EU direct grant, we diligently put in practice our strategic orientation to support our region’s PAR agenda. With PAR being fundamental both for our region’s sustainable growth and our EU integration – the undivided pol commitment, ownership and leadership remain key for irreversible and lasting reforms, we are determined to work even closer and stronger together with our stakeholders and partners to meet the principles and values of “citizens-centred” administration in the Western Balkans”.
Recognizing the fundamental role of PAR in the region's sustainable growth and EU integration, ministers reiterated their commitment to collaborative efforts and leadership in implementing reforms and endorsed the Joint Statement on the Occasion of High-Level Policy Dialogue “Attractive and Skilled Public Service Fit for Future”. They have committed to investing additional efforts to design and implement policies and actions that will make the Western Balkans civil service a career of choice, promoting youth participation and co-creating in policy-making and service delivery. They also have committed to supporting the development and implementation of mobility programs, undertaking regional initiatives to enhance capacities, exchange knowledge and experiences, and participating and co-creating in policy-making and service delivery. They also have committed to supporting the development and implementation of mobility programs, undertaking regional initiatives to enhance capacities, exchange knowledge and experiences, and many others in the realms of PAR as one of the fundamentals of the European integration process, and in the light of the new EU Growth plan for the Western Balkans.
At the end of the Meeting, Minister ALIU received the ReSPA chairmanship from Minister BUNOZA and affirmed North Macedonia's dedication to strengthening ReSPA's mission during its chairmanship: “It is a great honour and responsibility to be elected as the next Chair of the ReSPA Governing Board. As Chair, I will be fully committed to increasing dialogue, regional cooperation and political attention in the key areas of public administration and European integration of the countries of the region" concluded Minister Aliu.