What's in a Name? The case of administrative consolidation in Croatia in comparison to the CEE countries

Academic Public Administration Studies

What's in a Name? The case of administrative consolidation in Croatia in comparison to the CEE countries

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Title: What's in a Name? The case of administrative consolidation in Croatia in comparison to the CEE countries
Author: Iancu, Diana Camelia
Abstract: In May 1995, European Union issued the White Paper “Preparation of the Associated Countries of the Central and Eastern Europe for the Integration into the Internal Market of the Union”, where it stated that “the main challenge for the associated countries in taking over internal market legislation lies not in the approximation of their legal texts, but in adapting their administrative machinery and their societies to the conditions necessary to make the legislation work […]” (paragraph 3.25). The European Council in Madrid (1995) brought the solid orientation of the Community towards enlargement while stressing the need for candidate countries (at the time) to adjust their administrative structures. What continued to be lacking though (creating as such confusions for the accession agenda) was the reference to how national administration of the CEE countries must adapt or towards what they needed to direct their institutional public administration reforms. This is what this paper aims at clarifying, by offering a possible, democratic reading of the “consolidated administration” criterion in the case of Croatia, using the experience of the CEE countries (specifically, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania). In doing so, I will investigate the European Union’s role in the public administration reform of Croatia. My assumption in the case would be that the European Union is an actor that during the accession trials, assists Croatia in democratizing the organization and functioning of its public administrations, just as it did in the case of the CEE countries. The cross-country comparison of the public administration reforms is to be made under the theoretical framework provided for by the Europenisation and New Public Management literature, while the operationalisation of the consolidated administration criterion will be achieved by redesigning Robert Dahl’s democratization theory and apply it on the case of the European Union’s acquis communautaire. My documentary analysis on national public administration reforms will be restricted on strategy-level documents of the countries in question and the Progress Reports the European Commission provided during the past and current enlargements. The acquis will be at its turn limited as to refer strictly to the original treaties and those following them; the Accession Treaties of the Member States and the international organizations and acts of the organizations created through international agreements. A special attention will be also given to the contents of the White Paper on Enlargement of the European Union. As far as the outcomes are concerned, I expect the research to allow a refining of the role the European enlargement policies play in confirming the domestic political options for administrative reform in Croatia. In addition, a clarification of the “consolidated administration” criterion might prove useful for the advanced study of the public administration reforms in the current associated countries to the European Union.
Description: - paper presented at the International Workshop “Public Administration in the Balkans – from Weberian bureaucracy to New Public Management”, organised in the framework of Jean Monnet project: "South-Eastern European developments on the administrative convergence and enlargement of the European Administrative Space in Balkan states", Athens, 5-6 February 2010
URI: http://www.apas.admpubl.snspa.ro/handle/2010/63
Date: 2010-03-31

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