High-level political dialogue defines strategic guidelines for next year's public administration reform in the region

September 13th, 2021

The annual political dialogue, held online under the auspices of the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA), brought ministers in charge of public administration from the region together with top European Commission officials for the Western Balkans to jointly analyze the results achieved, such as and the challenges of the region related to the reform processes.

The Director of ReSPA, Ratka Sekuloviс, reflected the innovations in the operation of this institution, including the Regional Quality Management Centre in Public Administration, in charge of support to modernization of public administration services and its reflection on the needs of the citizens and the economy, as well as the establishment of the Regional Network of Public Policy Coordinators, which are affecting the better coordination of public policies in the countries of the region. The regional pilot survey on the question of how satisfied the public administration employees are, which was announced by Sekulovic as cooperation with SIGMA, will contain clear guidelines regarding the further improvement of the public administration employees’ position in the region, as a key factor in the ongoing progress of reform processes.  

"ReSPA remains consistent in supporting the field of public policy, depolitization and professionalization of public administration, as well as in improving the quality of public services. We will continue supporting the building of responsible and professional public administration institutions in the region, with the full support of the European Commission and the joint efforts of the governments of the Western Balkan countries," said Sekulovic in her speech.

The Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Josip Grubesha, the Minister of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media of Montenegro - Tamara Srzentic, the Minister of Information Society and Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia - Jeton Shaqiri and the Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government of the Republic of Serbia - Marija Obradovic, presented the key results achieved in public administration reform at national level, defined the main challenges and proposed a further guidelines for the development of public administration reform.

Statement by Minister Shaqiri:

"The state administration reform and digitalization reform are the main priorities of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Ministry of Information Society and Administration for this mandate. The purpose of this IPA project is to optimize the overall institutional framework, improve the delivery of public services and strengthen the ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability of the public administration, moreover, through the implementation of functional review and adoption of a new law on State Administration Bodies. After reviewing the comments and suggestions from the public debate held some time ago, we will be ready to advance this important project in its final stage. It is worth mentioning the fact that with SIGMA’s help, we have managed to draft 3 important laws, namely: the Law on Public Employees, the Law on Administrative Servants and the Law on Senior Management Service.

"In terms of digitalization, we are determined to move this process forward. We will introduce new measures to help companies in this sector, to encourage students to study in this sector. We will also invest in the improvement of the digital infrastructure in the country and with the establishment of an Agency for Digitalization we will provide a great impetus to the digitalization process in the country. The Document Management System should also be noted as a very important component in inter-institutional communication, through which we aim to quickly exchange information between institutions and to process documents in a very short time.

High EU representatives  for the Western Balkans: Alan Jones - Head of the European Economic Area Strategy and Policy Unit (EEA) and the  European Free Trade Association (EFTA) from the European Neighborhood and Enlargement Directorate-General (DG NEAR), and Florian Hauser - Leader of the Public Administration Reform Team at the Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), reaffirmed the European Commission's readiness to continue promoting innovation and improvement of the regional administration, including among other things, the work of ReSPA .