Brussels, 22 October 2020

EaP Panel on Governance and Public Administration Reform, October 2020

The EaP Panel on Governance and Public Administration Reform focused on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Public Administration. EaP CSF representatives Ianina Spinei (Transparency International Moldova, Moldova) and Yurii Krivorotko (Lev Sapieha Foundation, Belarus) discussed with EU stakeholders the current state of governance and recent accomplishments, as well as areas, where further improvements and reforms need to be taken in light of the current health crisis. 

Participants from the Eastern Partnership countries underlined that the COVID-19 crisis has revealed several issues that need to be considered to further improve and reform Public Administration, for instance, digitalising public services. A significant progress has been made in Belarus, mentioned EaP CSF representative Yurii Krivorotko. From 2021, every citizen will be able to use digital signatures. In addition, an office coordinator for digital reforms has been established to increase the efficiency of Public Administration in Belarus.

In Moldova, the government approved a reform package for the Public Administration in 2016. This year, a serious assessment needs to be made to analyse the implementation of actions, underlined EaP CSF representative Ianina Spinei. Similar to other countries, the pandemic has resulted in a set of reforms, both at the central and local government level, with the aim of making the work more efficient.

Involving civil society on a larger scale in the monitoring of results and learning points will lead to a more sustainable Public Administration, mentioned Martins Krievins, Regional Manager for EU Neighbourhood East at SIGMA (OECD). The exchange of best practices and knowledge between fellow members of civil society represents an efficient way to help achieve tangible results in this area.

Turning to the post-2020 EaP deliverables, the necessity to involve citizens in the Public Administration Reform was stressed, next to the need of having civil society monitor the achievements in this area. Also, the political will is of central importance. To mobilise the political will, the more for more principle should be applied. In other words, countries that make more progress towards reform, should benefit from a stronger partnership.