Administrative Europeanization and Institutional Change: the Case of Croatia

Academic Public Administration Studies

Administrative Europeanization and Institutional Change: the Case of Croatia

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Title: Administrative Europeanization and Institutional Change: the Case of Croatia
Author: SMOKROVIĆ, Nenad; ILIJAŠIĆ-VERŠIĆ, Ivana
Abstract: Preparing for EU membership requires changes across a wide range of sectors in many of the institutions and organisations involved in the public governance and legislative enforcement processes. Criteria that every candidate country has to undertake in the process of accession, known as “Copenhagen criteria”, can be summed down to political, economical and administrative requirements in order to fully adopt, implement and comply with the Community acquis. The administrative criteria (also known as Madrid criteria) requires from the candidate country to be able to create conditions for adjustment of national governance structure to the EU public governance mechanisms. This requires modernisation of their administrations taking into account the principles of professionalism and neutrality. Transition and EU enlargement deeply rely on capacities and quality of common and national institutions responsible for enforcement and conduct of development policies. In the very core of this adaptation process lays the institutional change and convergence. Institutions create motivational structures for individuals and organisations, and coordinate their activities and behaviour. Although institutions have to provide envisaged and coherent rules, sometimes there is a need for institutions to change and adapt to social preferences, technology, political and socio-economic structures and external factors. Many challenges in Croatian public administration rise from inadequate education, insufficient monitoring of employees’ performance, and high level of political impact, lack of organisational culture, true values, paternalism and no orientation toward a citizen. There is no defined development strategy in public governance. The number of state officials is extremely high. Nevertheless, the government has foreseen seize of public administration growth, horizontal decentralisation, rationality and sound economic behaviour in the accession to EU. It is highly important because public administration is the one to carry the burden of legislative reform within the country. European Commission objects Croatia the weakness of its institutions indebted for efficient cooperation with International Court of Justice and conduct of obligations from international agreements. For the past few years EU-Croatia Parliamentary Committee has adopted several Declarations and Recommendations all stating that Croatia demonstrates continuous progress and efforts in the area of judicial and public administration reform, but also has to pursue strengthening the administrative capacity, not only to implement adopted reforms, but to secure that it can benefit fully from increased financial assistance. It is also observed that Croatia’s improved institutional rules for the functioning European Union will facilitate the accession once all criteria have been met.
URI: http://www.apas.admpubl.snspa.ro/handle/2010/294
Date: 2011


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