EIPA Starts Technical Assistance Talks for Montenegrin Public Administration

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In a move to bolster cooperation and support the European Union (EU) accession process of Western Balkan countries, the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) recently held a two-day series of high-level meetings at the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA). This visit marked a follow-up to the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between EIPA and ReSPA. The initiative aligns with the European Commission’s recent approval of a six-billion-euro plan aimed at accelerating reforms and economic growth in the Western Balkans.

Day 1: EIPA and ReSPA Meeting

Last week, Director Maja Handjiska Trendafilova and the ReSPA team welcomed Martijn Pluim, EIPA’s Programme Director, and Tihana Puzic, Deputy Head of the European CAF Resource Centre. The discussions centred on avenues for increased collaboration between the two organisations, particularly in implementing capacity-building activities crucial for strengthening human capital in public administration.

This meeting emphasised the importance of strong cooperation and partnership in supporting the strategic integration of Western Balkan nations into the EU framework and enhancing administrative capacities and governance standards.

Martijn and Maja reiterated their dedication to fostering a robust partnership that will enhance administrative capacities and governance standards in the Western Balkans, aligning them more closely with EU norms and practices. Strengthening public administration and strategic partnerships were key themes of the discussions, emphasising EIPA’s role in Montenegro’s EU accession through further expertise development.

Day 2: Meetings with Montenegrin Officials

The second day of the visit was marked by a series of meetings aimed at strengthening Montenegro’s public administration and furthering its EU accession efforts.

In the morning, Martijn Pluim met with Minister Marash Dukaj and his team at the Ministry of Public Administration (Ministarstvo javne uprave Crne Gore). Martijn and Minister Dukaj discussed various initiatives to enhance administrative efficiency and effectiveness, with a particular focus on leveraging EIPA’s expertise in public administration.

Later in the day, EIPAr’s representatives met with Agron Camaj, Director of the Authority for Human Resource Management of Montenegro, and his team. This session focused on the role of EIPA as a centre of excellence in providing expert support and facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges, not only for EU member states but also for candidate countries like Montenegro.

Core Themes and Key Takeaways

The overarching theme of the visit was the development of a strong public administration and how strategic partnerships like the one with EIPA can support Montenegro’s EU accession process. The emphasis on promoting peer-to-peer exchanges for candidate countries and expertise development was central to the discussions, reinforcing the idea that a strong Europe is built on the foundation of strong Western Balkan countries.

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