National public administrations across the European Union are confronted with common challenges such as climate change, digital transformation, crisis management or the effects of globalisation. These complex problems of multidimensional nature require cooperation among national administrations but also at European level, to best leverage all the knowledge available.
Through the proposed flagship initiative “Public Administration Cooperation Exchange” (PACE) the European Commission aims at promoting cooperation and cross-border exchanges among Member States to build administrative capacity and prepare the next generation of policy makers in the European Union. The objective is to create a European Community of public servants that share best practices and create personal connections that will help foster future critical cooperation.
The proposed PACE flagship project aims at promoting the values and principles of good public administration, providing an opportunity for civil servants to experience the working methods and culture of other EU public administrations. These exchanges will be based on the needs identified and the priorities of the Commission in the area of public administration.
At impact level, the proposed PACE initiative will help transfer knowledge and best practices and reinforce the administrative capacity of participating Member States. It will also help address current and future challenges across multiple public policy areas (i.e. societal, economic, demographic, digital, environmental and improve the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies). The overarching objective is to provide a high quality of public services across the European Union and promote shared EU values in the public administrations of Member States.
Member States (i.e. national, regional and local authorities) may choose for technical support under the following [non-exhaustive] list of measures:
- The PACE initiative is an opportunity to promote direct, one-to-one dialogues and allow different stakeholders to learn from each other and share knowledge. It will also foster cross-border cooperation between Member States by creating connections between officials and synergies in their working methods.
- The exchange will take the form of a targeted study visit, where 1-5 civil servant(s) from an EU Member State authority will be embedded to an EU peer administration from 5 days to 3 months.
- Participating administrations will submit an “expression of interest”, demonstrating their capacity building needs and explaining their interest in participating to the exchange programme. The civil servant(s) participating on the exchange will agree on the preparation of a final deliverable, such as a final report or study, considering the working methods, culture of the host public administration and lessons learned during the exchange. This will already be defined in the submitted request for support.
- Participating Member States will be paired according to their interests and capacity to host civil servants. Guest civil servant(s) will acquire tangible knowledge and experience on how the host institution works on specific tasks in the subject area of the visit, according to a detailed programme to be defined between the host institution, the guest civil servant(s) and DG REFORM. Participating institutions may be able to participate in key work meetings, joint workshops, activities and training or the preparation of targeted comparative reports, comparative analysis or drafting of strategies.
- The estimated duration of the project from the selection by the TSI Board to the final presentation of lessons learnt is approximately 12 months, i.e. from March 2024 to March 2025.