Regional conference on the functioning of the centres of government of the Western Balkans


Western Balkans Western Balkans

On 22 an‌d 23 June 2017 a regional conference was held in Danilovgrad (Montenegro). This conference was co-hosted by SIGMA, the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). The conference theme was the functioning of the centres of government (CoG) of the Western Balkans and on how to set a common platform for enhancement of public consultation practices with representatives from all Western Balkan EU Accession candidate countries and potential candidates.

The occasion of the event was the recent publication of SIGMA Paper No. 53, providing a comparative analysis of the functioning of the CoG in the Western Balkans. The event was organised to bring together senior officials of the key CoG institutions, together with representatives of the European Commission (EC), SIGMA, ReSPA, RCC, as well as experts of the OECD and international practitioners.

The one and a half day conference provided a platform to present and discuss country success stories, key challenges and international good experience of the functioning of the CoG, as well as to discuss specific issues related to public consultation practices in the Western Balkans.

Participants jointly acknowledged that there are common challenges for CoGs both in the Western Balkans and in many OECD member countries regarding – especially – good quality strategic planning, ensuring the quality of new policies and monitoring the performance of the government. It was also emphasised that reforming the CoG is particularly difficult as this requires strong and continuous commitment for a complex change management in institutions, to capacitate them to meet these and new challenges stemming from the increasing complexity of policy issues and the need for even stronger co-ordination from the centre of government.

The conference audience agreed that the event also served as a good starting point to launch a network of CoGs in the Western Balkans, with more regular meetings of practitioners from the administrations, the EC, OECD, SIGMA, ReSPA and RCC.

Agenda || List of participants


Opening remarks given by Ms. Ratka Sekulovic, ReSPA Director

Opening remarks given by Ms. Karen Hill, Head of Programme for SIGMA

"Policy development and co-ordination in the new approach on Public Administration Reform", Mr. Alberto Costa, DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission

"The role and functions of the centre – Perspective from the OECD", Mr. Andrew Davies, Senior Counsellor, OECD, Public Governance Directorate

"Challenges for CoG in Latvia: A Story of Change", Mr. Martins Krievins, Public Management Consultant, Former Director of the State Chancellery of the Republic of Latvia, International Expert for SIGMA

"Functioning of the Centres of Government in the Western Balkans - Some key lessons learned from the SIGMA comparative analysis", Mr. Peter Vagi, Senior Adviser, OECD, SIGMA

"Outline of the Western Balkans’ Recommendation on Public Consultations", Mr. Goran Forbici, International Expert for ReSPA and RCC, Director of CNVOS


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