International Workshop on the Role of Public Administration in Public Policies’ Design
Faculty of Administration of University of Ljubljana organised two-day workshop on 19th and 20th April 2018 on the role of public administration that merges several internationally determined, yet also into Slovene space oriented research studies and other activities.
1st part of the workshop was addressing the basic research project “Development of the model for monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects in public sector”, so called project Atena, cofounded by Slovene Research Agency for the period 2016–2019 (no J5-7557), and led by prof. dr. Mirko Vintar. On the first results, based on the interviews with the highest Slovene representatives in 2017, an article Public Policy Design and Implementation in Slovenia. Analyses of distinguished guests was presented, including by prof. dr. Ivan Koprić (Zagreb University), prof. dr. Michiel de Vries (Radbound University). The discussion among the guests and representatives from Slovene ministries and civil society was conducted on good practices ex-change to improve Slovene processes.
2nd part of the event was dedicated to faculty's journal, Central European Public Administration Review, celebrating 15th anniversary. This part included a round table with editors-in-chief of comparable regional journals, i.e. prof. dr. Juraj Nemec (Masaryk University), prof. dr. Calin Hintea (Cluj University) and prof. dr. Ivan Koprić (Zagreb University), emphasising publishing articles that contribute to the transfer of knowledge between academia and practice.
3. part of the workshop covered presentation of European research EUPACK, i.e. analysis of public administration characteristics and performance in all 28 EU MS, led in 2016–2018 byprof. dr. Gerhard Hammerschmid (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin) and with Slovene rapporteurs assoc. prof. dr. Grega Virant and assist. prof. dr. Iztok Rakar. This part also incorporated the debate on the comparative data gathered and opinions exchange.
Several internationally recognised scholars from the Netherlands, Croatia, Germany, Slovakia, Romania and Slovenia have provided the most interesting keynote inputs into sessions’ topics. Apart from them, around twenty representatives of Slovenian ministries, other administrative authorities and non-governmental organisations - among them interviewees who participated in the empirical research in research project Atena in 2017 - attended the workshop, which is of the utmost importance for the transfer of knowledge.
In a dynamic debate that comprehensively covered the evaluation in public policy cycle and the role of public administration and university in it, many issues were discussed. Among others, we agreed that public administration, as a key social subsystem, must respond to societal changes proactively and systematically, in order to be effective, especially in the conditions of multi-level public governance in the EU. Empirical analyses and comparisons show that Slovenia, however, is exemplary regarding compliance with European principles and development guidelines, but often only in terms of declaratory strategies or regulations. On the other hand, the implementation and evaluation of public policies are often weak, inter alia, due to the (too) large and often (too) rapidly changing political influence in public policies design to be run by professional criteria, the lack of public consultation and evidence based decision-making, the lack of cross-sectoral cooperation, almost exclusive focus on regulatory and formal aspects of administrative processes, etc. Nevertheless, in keynotes presentations, accessible also hereby online, and discussions, we also recognised some solutions, for both sectoral and horizontal public policies to be more effective. Mostly, the successful approaches are grounded - in the framework of research project and study programs, as well as consulting and scientific publications - on the collaboration between university based expertise and administrators, in the national, regional and international space.