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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article19 December 2017Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

SIGMA ministerial conference marks 25 years of cooperation between the European Commission and OECD on public administration reform

On 13-14 December the European Commission and the OECD hosted in Paris a ministerial conference on "Good public governance delivering for citizens and businesses". The conference marked 25 years of cooperation between the two institutions on a joint...

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On 13-14 December the European Commission and the OECD hosted in Paris a ministerial conference on "Good public governance delivering for citizens and businesses". The conference marked 25 years of cooperation between the two institutions on a joint initiative, Support to Improvement of Governance and Management (SIGMA), principally financed by the European Union.

The conference demonstrated the importance the Commission is placing on public administration reform, both in the enlargement and neighbourhood policies. It brought together ministers and high-level representatives from 18 partner governments currently benefiting from SIGMA support, as well as from international organisations and civil society, providing an opportunity to share experience on reform achievements and to discuss the challenges ahead.

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Jean-Eric Paquet, Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission, highlighted the role of good public governance and rule of law for the economic development in the EU Member States, as evidenced by the increased focus on these areas in the European Semester process. He also emphasised the importance of better regulation – inclusive and evidence-based policy and law-making – for governments to ensure that policies and laws are delivering the best outcomes for the citizens and businesses.

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Katarína Mathernová, European Commission's Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, speaking at the roundtable on "Supporting structural economic reforms through good public governance", highlighted the importance of preventing and fighting corruption and ensuring good policy-making as the basis for governments to deliver good economic policies and structural reforms. She also highlighted the importance of Economic Reform Programmes in the enlargement context and the European External Investment Plan for the neighbourhood countries.

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Bernard Brunet, European Commission, concluded that public administration reform does not only concern governments but the entire society. Public administration reform is a continuous process which needs to adapt to evolution of society and economy, and is key in combating populism and strengthening trust in governments. He also encouraged partner governments to be inclusive, to base their policies on solid evidence and to empower civil servants with genuine managerial responsibilities.

The conference documents, including videos and speeches, are available on the SIGMA website.

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