EIPA’s Director-General Marco Ongaro delivers speech on the European dimension in civil servants’ training

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On the 8th of July, EIPA’s Director-General Marco Ongaro attended the 10th anniversary of the Masters in Public Administration of the Ca’ Foscari Challenge School – Master e Alta Formazione, where he delivered a presentation The European dimension in civil servants’ training.

On this occasion, EIPA and the Fondazione Università Ca’​ Foscari signed a Memorandum of Understanding, paving the way for stable and successful cooperation between the two institutions on a series of training activities.

During his intervention, Director-General Ongaro emphasised how important it is for the EU countries nowadays to work together to become stronger. The public sector organisations showed ability in absorbing the last years’ crisis and learning from each other, but there are still weaknesses and those need to be steered towards a ‘more European’ strategy. He concluded:

Consequently, it is of outmost importance to speak to citizens about Europe and here the public administration is the primary interface and has a fundamental role to play, having the commitment to guarantee effectiveness, transparency, readiness. In this context, EIPA is there to help bring this commitment to the everyday reality.

In the framework of the EC’s willingness to improve the public administration sector at European level, the role of EU Member States is very important, but there are challenges and weaknesses to cope with. The accelerating technology change, together with population ageing, is causing a skills shortage in both the private and public sectors. This requires an upgrade of working systems. At the same time, we assist in the increasing policy issues, also linked to the technology changes; one valuable example in this sense is the privacy policy and GDPR requirements. Furthermore, we are in the era of climate change and green transition is one of the EC’s top priorities.

The EU supports the public administration in helping to identify the issues and with the design and implementation of reforms. On the other hand, the support also comes with the provision of capacity-building tools and promoting research, not forgetting the will to facilitate and encourage peer learning and exchange of experiences and knowledge.

It is in this context that EIPA’s Director-General Marco Ongaro introduced the ‘EU leadership exchange programme’. This is a multi-country programme, launched by DG Reform under the Portugal presidency of the Council of the EU, coordinated by the National Institute for Public Administration (INA). The pilot took place between October 2021 and June 2022, and the countries involved are Belgium, France, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

The EU leadership exchange programme is a flagship technical support programme, under the Technical Support Instrument (TSI), and aims at promoting cooperation and cross-border exchange among Member States to build administrative capacity and prepare the next generation of policymakers in the EU. The deadline to submit the projects to DG Reform is October 2022.

The objectives of the projects fit with the EIPA’s approach to cross-border knowledge dissemination. EIPA and the EC share the idea that multi-country projects are increasingly important because they bring groups of countries together and give them the opportunity to learn from each other’s different experiences. In this framework, EIPA stands as a project coordinator, aiming to be a knowledge-sharing hub.

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