EIPA’s cooperation with the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) dates to the origins of the school in 2008 when the European Commission opened a tender procedure for the establishment of ReSPA in the Western Balkans. ReSPA was established to enhance regional cooperation in Public Administration amongst participating beneficiaries.
ReSPA concentrates on institution building and developing cooperation in the Western Balkans in the field of public administration. It aims to build a strong foundation for strengthening accountable, efficient, and authoritative public administration systems for Western Balkans on their path to accession into the EU. The organisation can be identified as both a regional training provider and a nucleus of an existing network of public administrative schools, streamlining administration to the principles of the European Administrative Space.
The first two EU contracts
The establishment and following development of ReSPA was an exceptional endeavour granted to EIPA by the European Commission in 2008. EIPA successfully tendered for the first contract, the ReSPA Service Contract, which commenced in 2009 and remained in force till the beginning of 2010. Immediately thereafter, in April 2010, EIPA won the second tender to last another year and a half. Implementation of the projects took place between January 2009 and September 2011.
The activities that EIPA has carried out within the two contracts are:
- organisation and delivery of a multitude of training programmes in areas of policy formulation, strategic management, implementation of EU policies, legislative drafting, transposition of EU law, and national coordination of EU affairs;
- the institutional building of ReSPA: construction, procurement, and official ratification of ReSPA;
- the organisation of numerous corporate events;
- launching the first activities under the EC project;
- fulfilling the role of Project Director;
- maintaining and developing ReSPA’s website and newsletters;
- design and management of the first wave of recruitments at ReSPA, including the appointment of ReSPA’s Director.
Since then, EIPA has been involved with ReSPA in various degrees, resulting in long-standing cooperation. Over the years, EIPA hosted a spectrum of activities: seminars, trainings, workshops and conferences.
In collaboration with EIPA’s CAF Resource Centre, trainings are continuously organised on CAF principles and models of working in public sector bodies in the Western Balkans. One example is the specialised training ‘Improved Service Delivery and User-Oriented Public Administration’, which dealt with increasing citizen and user orientation of public sector organisations.
The latest collaboration between EIPA and ReSPA
The latest cooperation between ReSPA and EIPA is the annual Seasonal School on EU Accession Negotiations. In 2020, EIPA experts were the architects of the Seasonal School programme. The five-day conference in October provided EU accession teams from administrations across the Western Balkans the opportune moment to widen their knowledge on professional skills for accession negotiations. The various parties were provided with a platform to exchange their views and delve into the current and future challenges associated with accession negotiations of Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia.
EIPA experts, Juan Diego Ramírez-Cárdenas and Wolfgang Koeth hosted numerous seminars throughout the conference. The seminars covered:
- the new accession negotiations methodology; honing on the content of the negotiation process
- the legal and political dimensions of EU enlargement
- EU accession policy
- the screening processes
EIPA aims to continue the collaboration with ReSPA in the future as a tribute to its deep-rooted relationship. Following the success of the 2020 Seasonal School, a second edition to the 2020 Seasonal School is being discussed with ReSPA. As is the case in other cases of long-term cooperation, EIPA offers a learning path approach to disseminating information rather than one-off activities. This sequential approach would allow the beneficiaries to benefit from deepening their knowledge in detail.