Programme Committee Meeting: Assessing the Progress, Goals, and Priorities of PAR and European Integration in Conjunction with the ReSPA Programme and Strategy
31 January 2024, Skopje, North Macedonia
ReSPA convened the state secretaries and senior managers overseeing public administration, policy coordination, and European integration, along with Governing Board members, to showcase the programmatic initiatives conducted in 2023, outline plans for 2024 and discuss the current status of Public Administration Reform (PAR) and the European Union Integration Agendas. These discussions lay the foundation for the ReSPA team as they develop the Strategy for 2025-2031.
“Last year was very dynamic, with more than 60 regional capacity-building and networking activities, 15 on-demand projects, 4 mobility scheme visits, and 27 scholarships through the Horizontal Facility, all delivered for our civil servants. We have started this year even more dynamically, featuring innovations in each thematic area, as well as introducing flagship initiatives such as the Regional Mobility scheme programme, the multi-module training on Clusters of the acquis, the Regional Academy on Policy Making, the PA Award 2024, Staff Satisfaction surveys, etc. Today, we present the initial concept of the new ReSPA Strategy 2025-2030, aiming to find the best way to shape it to be at the service of the public sector in the Western Balkans,” said Director Maja Handjiska-Trendafilova at the opening.
Drita Abdiu Halili, State Secretary in the Secretariat for European Affairs of the Government of North Macedonia, highlighted the necessity for a resilient and motivated public administration which should lead the negotiations with the EU, design reform agendas and implement the Growth Plan.
The Meeting also discussed the role of PAR in the EU accession process's Fundamentals Cluster, the progress of EU accession in the Western Balkans, and the status of PAR in the latest European Commission Enlargement package for 2023. Experts shed light on key challenges confronting Western Balkan administrations, spanning areas like policy development and better regulation (Eric Axse), HR management and development (Peter Pogačar), digital transformation (Boris Kopivrinar), and European Integration and Accession Negotiations (Aleksandar Andrija Pejović). Mr. Pejović delved into the role of public administration reform in the Fundamentals Cluster and the EU accession progress in the Western Balkans. Finally, Simonida Kačarska presented the role of PAR in the bigger picture of EU accession.