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Reform Support
Fit for recovery and transition

Supporting Quality of Public Administration in the European Union Member States Online Conference - 25 November 2021

The Conference

Public administration translates the long-term objectives of making Europe climate-neutral, sustainable, and ready for the next digital decadeinto reforms, investments, programmes, and services. They implement directly and indirectly the unprecedented EU budget of EUR 1.8 trillion to achieve the EU’s objectives.

Five major trends will influence this process: rapid technological change; demographic changes and skills shortages; the complexity of managing inter-related policy issues; the green transition; and the strain on limited public funds. Public administrations cannot afford to fail in this adaptation as they promote collective interests and ensure the overall wellbeing of society. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and other pressing global issues, the current moment presents profound challenges but also unique opportunities for administrations.

In a recent publication, the European Commission outlined the wide portfolio of policies, financial, and non-financial instruments it manages with a view to encourage and support the efforts of Member States to improve the quality and capacity of their public administrations. The Commission aims to reinforce these efforts.

The conference built on previous discussions on how to support administrative improvement, promote mutual learning, and transfer related experience across the EU. It also brought stronger political attention to systemic issues and explore:

  • How can the Commission and the Member States better steer the change of public administrations in the EU, and support building more effective, accountable, inclusive and resilient institutions?
  • How can public administrations learn better from each other, how can use lessons learned from the pandemic and climate-related natural disasters and promote successful practices?

It identified specific actions that could be undertaken in the short term to improve change processes and their uptake.

The event brought together high-level public officials and practitioners from the EU institutions and the EU Member States, leading academics, think tanks, and international organisations.

Morning programme

09:00 - 9:15 CET


09:15 - 11:15 CET

Session: Steering change in public administrations


  • Ms Naomi Lloyd, Journalist and TV Presenter – Euronews


  • Ms Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and reforms - European Commission
  • Mr Younous Omarjee, Chair of REGI committee - European Parliament
  • Mr Boštjan Koritnik, Minister of Public Administration - Slovenia
  • Mr Mathias Cormann, Secretary General - OECD
  • Mr Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, Deputy Secretary General - OECD
  • Ms Manuela Bora, Member of Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe, Former Rapporteur on public administration -  Committee of the Regions

11:15 - 12:30 CET

European Commission Support on Public Administration


  • Mr Daniele Dotto, Deputy-Director - DG REFORM;


  • Mr Maciej Popowski, Acting Director-General - DG NEAR
  • Mr Normunds Popens, Deputy Director-General – DG REGIO
  • Ms Nathalie Berger, Director - DG REFORM                                                                                               


    Afternoon programme

    14:00 - 14:50 CET

    Session: Towards a European Administrative Space? 

    Keynote Speech

    • Mr Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration – European Commission
    • Ms Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of Public Sector Transformation and Civil Service - France           

    14:50 - 15:50 CET   

    Workshop sessions                                                             

    15:50 - 16:50 CET   

    Feedback and conclusion 

    • Mr. Nick Thijs, Senior Advisor, SIGMA Programme - OECD
    • Mr. Marco Ongaro, Director-General – European Institute of Public Administration           
    • Prof. Jean-Michel Eymeri-Douzans, Exceptional Class Professor and Vice-Rector for international relations - Sciences Po Toulouse, President - European Group for Public Administration                                                       

    16:50 - 17:00 CET   

    Closing remarks       

    • Mr. Mario Nava, Director-General – DG REFORM     
    • Mr. Alexander Stubb, Director, School of Transnational Governance – European University Institute                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   






    Manuela Bora

    Member of the Conference on the Future of Europe

    Alexander Stubb

    Director, School of Transnational Governance – European University Institute

    Jean-Michel Eymeri-Douzans

    Exceptional Class Professor and Vice-Rector for international relations - Sciences Po Toulouse, President - European Group for Public Administration
    Marco Ongaro

    Marco Ongaro

    Director-General – European Institute of Public Administration

    Follow the event online

    Watch the event recordings.

    On 25 November – from 09.00 to 12.30

    You can also follow the event commentary on Twitter @EU_reforms

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