Roundtable: Re-launching Public Administration Reform

29 October 2020 – Balkans Group, in cooperation with the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, organised the roundtable: “Re-launching Public Administration Reform”.

In the roundtable, Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti, Deputy Prime Minister Tahiri, and Minister of Internal Affairs Veliu presented the Government’s plan for Public Administration Reform (PAR). The EU Special Representative Tomáš Szunyog and Ambassador of Norway to Kosovo Jens Erik Grøndahl also gave their insight as speakers on the discussed topic. The roundtable included senior civil servants from relevant institutions and agencies related to the comprehensive PAR process, foreign representatives, civil society representatives and donors.

The purpose of the roundtable was to advance the Public Administration Reform following the decisions of the constitutional court regarding the Law on Public Officials, the Law on Salaries in the Public Sector and the Law on Organization and Functioning of State Administration and Independent Agencies. Efforts have been made to implement them; however, this has proven to be difficult due to political and judicial challenges. Although rulings from the Constitutional Court has put the process on hold, there is a way forward.

During the roundtable, the participants discussed ideas and methods about clear actions and recommendations to finalize the new laws and start their implementation, which aim to strengthen and increase the accountability of the administration.

There is plenty of room for the Government to act at the executive level; policy development remains challenging, and there are often few links between policy initiatives and actions. Budgetary planning, and especially, execution, need to improve, which will require extensive training for civil servants. Internal processes, hierarchical lines, and responsibilities still need clarification, especially regarding independent agencies and, to a large extent, local administrations.

Overcoming all these issues will require executing actions backed by enough resources, and constant oversight and monitoring of their effect, all of which need to be done with a political commitment that has not been present in the past.

The Balkans Group presented findings and recommendations on how to advance the process based on its report “Public Administration Reform in Kosovo: Constant Struggle to Make It”.

This activity was organized with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy. The content of this activity is the sole responsibility of the Balkans Group and cannot be taken to reflect the views of the Government of Norway”

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