ReSPA Programme Committee meeting
The ReSPA Programme Committee (PC) meeting was held remotely on 16 December 2020. The Committee is composed of the representatives of the institutions in charge of Public Administration Reform (PAR), Public Finance Management (PFM) and European Integration coordination process from the five ReSPA member countries. Its task is to perform structured coordination and to provide more strategic guidance for ReSPA's actions.
During the meeting were presented previous and future activities of ReSPA, the draft Analytical document on Policy Co-ordination, as well as the state of play of PAR in the EC Enlargement Package 2020.
ReSPA Secretariat presented activities implemented under thematic areas "Improved implementation on PAR and PFM Strategies in the Western Balkans", "Improved professionalization of the Civil Service" and "Improved quality of public services". It was highlighted that year 2020 would remain as one of the most challenging but also the most successful ones since ReSPA has been founded.
Until March 2020 ReSPA smoothly implemented its regular capacity building and networking activities when ReSPA team quickly adapted to the changing landscape caused by the pandemic by introducing "Corona programme" which encompassed 35 networking and capacity building actions. ReSPA has continued to achieve the high involvement of participants (825), participant days (1067) and international and regional experts (95) as well as high evaluation scores in realized activities (over 90% of participants evaluated content, methodology and relevance of ReSPA actions as excellent/good). The representatives of 65 institutions in the Region participated in regional networking.
In addition, ReSPA Secretariat presented Programme of Work 2021-2022 with a list of activities envisaged under key thematic areas, with an orientation to further upgrading of "traditional" activities with innovative ones. The Public Administration Award competition, Seasonal Schools that will tackle new emerging topics such as IPA III within the new financial framework 2021-2027 and Rapid Innovation Lab are some of the activities that will be realized in the upcoming year. In the realization of planned activities, ReSPA will closely co-operate with the OECD/SIGMA, RCC, and NISPACee.
The second part of the meeting was devoted to the Analytical paper on Policy Co-ordination,which was presented by the engaged expert Ms Liis Kasamets. She explained the strategic importance of the coordination of public policies, relevant experience of OECD and EU countries practice, state of play and bottlenecks of policy coordination in Western Balkans, and the main recommendations for further improvement of this issue.
At the end of the meeting, ReSPA team briefly presented the EC ENLARGEMENT PACKAGE 2020 focusing on the considerations on Public Administration Reform across the Western Balkans with general remarks on PAR State of Play, administration specific findings and recommendations, and IPA III 2021-2027.
Mr Gentian Xhaxhiu, Programme Manager (Legal) at ReSPA highlighted the following after the meeting:
"The Programme Committee meeting served as a forum for taking stock of what has been achieved by ReSPA during 2020 as well as for jointly discussing the plans for the next two years. I am very glad that representatives from ReSPA members praised the work done by our side, despite the challenges that this year posed to all. In addition, we appreciate the concrete proposals that our PC members provided in order to further tailor and develop the ReSPA Programme of Work 2021-2022, so that it can better serve to the needs of the Region for implementing the respective Public Administration Reforms. ReSPA is indeed very excited and is very much looking forward to continuing to support its members during the coming period."