Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro Amplifies Expertise via ReSPA-led Visit to EIPA


On 12 and 13 December EIPA offered an invaluable opportunity for public servants from the Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro to expand their expertise in EU-related matters and quality management through engagement and active exchange in Maastricht. During this two-day visit, participants had access to the rich knowledge base of EIPA, known for its expertise in fostering good governance and effective public administration, aligning with the broader regional cooperation framework, prominently supported by the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA).

In this collaborative venture, EIPA stands committed to supporting Montenegro’s Public Administration Reform Strategy 2022-2026 by enhancing its expertise in EU practices to the specific needs and aspirations of the Montenegrin representatives of the Ministry of Public Administration. Additionally, EIPA fully endorses and supports ReSPA’s efforts to address the needs of partner countries in the Western Balkans. This collaboration signifies a bridge to excellence, leveraging collective expertise to accelerate Montenegro’s journey towards EU integration.


This partnership is one we kick off today and continue tomorrow, by sharing our best knowledge and expertise as well as exchanging EIPA’s recommendations on different topics, aiming to improve the quality and speed of the EU accession process ”

– Marco Ongaro, Director-General, EIPA


Through this strategic partnership, the aim is not only to facilitate the implementation of reform agendas but also to lay a robust foundation for sustainable growth and development within Montenegro’s public administration landscape.

Genti Xhaxhiu, ReSPA Programme Coordinator, praised the cooperation between EIPA and ReSPA, which share common values and priorities, highlighting:


I am happy to announce that both institutions are working on designing joint activities and learning initiatives that will target senior public servants from the Western Balkans.”


Highlights of the visit

The study visit was organised with the support of the ReSPA instrument of direct support known as the “the Mobility Scheme”, which aims to support public servants from ReSPA Members to have the opportunity to visit and exchange with relevant homologue institutions in another ReSPA Member or an EU member state.

RESPA visit EIPA december 2023-2 RESPA visit EIPA December 2023

Day one invited Marija Hajduković, Director General of the Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro, Ivan Lazarević, First Secretary of the Mission of Montenegro to the EU, and Genti Xhaxhiu, Programme Coordinator at ReSPA to join internal experts Wolfgang Koeth, Senior Lecturer, and Marco Lopriore, Expert and Project Manager, as speakers of the day, after a word of introduction by our Director General, Marco Ongaro, and Programme Director, Martijn Pluim.

The day included sessions on:

  • EU integration
  • Governance
  • European fund management, and
  • the collaborative potential between ReSPA, EIPA, and OECD/SIGMA

On the second day, the Head and Deputy Head of the European CAF Resource CentreGracia Vara Arribas and Tihana Puzić, Senior Advisor OECD/SIGMA, Nick Thijs, and Senior Lecturers Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas and Christoph Klika, joined with a presentation of their own, covering:

group photography visit ReSPA December 20223

  • Quality governance
  • the European CAF Resource Centre
  • The principles of public administration, focusing on public service delivery and digital government
  • Updates on the notion of EU administrative law and its main requirements

The visit concluded with a reflection on key takeaways and conclusions from the two-day visit to EIPA. This meeting signifies a strategic effort by the Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro to glean insights and expertise vital for advancing public administration and EU integration.


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