Taking the Pulse of European Public Administrations - key Findings of the European Public Sector Award 2009

Marga Pröhl, Alexander Heichlinger, Peter Ehn, Melanie Pissarius, Michael Burnett, Anita Rode, Tony Bass, Herma Kuperus
ISBN 13 978-90-6779-213-4 EIPA Code #: 2009/5 Year: 2009 Pages: Digital: 0 €

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During the last 15-20 years the public sector has faced a number of challenges connected to changing socio-economic, environmental and political factors, including among others:

  • Demographic changes such as an ageing population, a diminishing working population and increased immigration;
  • Environmental changes, such as climate changes and shortage of space;
  • Urbanisation including pressure on metropolitan areas, commuting and citizens’ demand for housing;
  • Globalisation, internationalisation and Europeanisation;
  • Diminishing “social capital”, including participation in elections and mistrust towards public administration and public services;
  • The emergence of complex social issues, arising from social fragmentation, not susceptible to single agency action and/or one dimensional responses;
  • Less willingness to increase resources to the public sector, despite higher demands and expectations of citizens for better services.

These issues are strong drivers for change in Europe’s public administrations and generally cut across traditional boundaries of government departments, and in some cases of the responsibilities of different levels of government; this presents challenges to public administrations in the way they deliver their public services. Consequently, a number of profound reforms have taken place and continue to do so at all levels of public administration. The (ultimate) purpose of the different reforms is to make governments more responsive to society’s changing needs and demands.