Reform of the state and systems of integration

Autor:Michael Duggett
Cargo del Autor:Director General. International Institute of Administrative Sciences. Granada. Instituto Eu-rolatinoamericano de Estudios para la integración (15 abril 2004)

Limits and strengths - The hypothesis - The european experience - Implications for Latín America? - Conclusión


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Allow me to begin by thanking Professor Carlos Francisco Molina del Pozo for the invitation to address this important institute on this vital issue. And to do so here in Granada in Spain. Spain is a country that has given a great deal to the world of public administration, just as it has long been an important member of our Institute based in Brussels. Spain is one of our first member states - in fact it was at a Congress of the then standing committee on public administration at Madrid in 1930 that the International Institute of Administrative Sciences was founded -and it has an active national section, led by the INAP in Madrid- which I have visited several times, and whose previous Director General Mr Arana Muñoz I met only last week at the meeting of the committee of public administration experts of the UN in New York. I know the INAP is located very cióse to the Atocha station, and so will have heard the explosión at first hand that crashed across our continent on March 1 lth 2004. The thoughts of all Europeans were with the people of Spain at that point.

Invitation and opportunity

When Professor Molina del Pozo carne to see us in Rué Defacqz in Brussels a few months ago he told me that this conference was happening and that he hoped I would be able to come and speak, on behalf of my Institute, about this issue of integration and the reform of the state, from the special perspective of looking at both the Latín American and the European experience. We are very well placed as an Institute to do so, for a number of reasons. One is that of course we are based in Brussels, which is sometimes called by federalists the capital of Europe, and we have been working on issues of good governance and proper public administration there since 1930. We are not just a group of academics but concerned to help bring about real change (I myself am a British civil servant, even if I have a chair in the University of Beijing, and the British tend to try to be practical). Another is that although we are based in Europe we have almost

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100 countries as member-states and national sections from all over the world. Latín America is a key continent for us. This is not only because our past President, in fact the man that appointed me to this job, is himself a distinguished Mexican, Ambassador Ignacio Picharda Pagaza, governor of the state of México, and not only because the Rapporteur General that our international executive committee in Brussels has selected to be in charge of our Berlin conference 2005 is a sénior Brazilian scholar and man of government (Mr Luis Carlos Bresser Pereira) -it is because we regard Latin America as being, along with although perhaps slightly less critically than África, perhaps the key continent in terms of where development is closely linked to the improvement of systems of governance. We are very proud that we have published some excellent work done on this subject by Bernardo Kliksberg of the World Bank on this issue, and he was our Rapporteur General for last year's Miami conference. He has spoken of the Intelligent State. Let us see if we can in fact develop as many of those across the world as possible.

Limits and strengths

I must confess, of course, my own limits in this respect. When it comes to speaking of governance in Latin America I am ashamed to say that unlike English and French (le frangais) Spanish and Portuguese are not a competence I possess, and whereas I have been to both México and Brazil I have never visited the rest of the continent at all. I therefore speak with a certain caution when it comes to Latin America.

But you did not ask me to talk to you about my expertise on Latin American governance. That would not take long, and it would enable us all to see rather more of this beautiful city. But, unfortunately from that touristic point of view, I do have some expertise on the other half of our debate this week. On state reform and the European experience. I have been a civil servant in a member state of the European Union since 1975, worked closely in the Cabinet Office with the reformers of the British civil service in the Thatcher-Major-Blair period (Next Steps, Citizens Charter, Better Government) and have spent time working in the European Community institutions since 1994, when I was a Fonctionnaire (National Detaché) at the European Parliament. And have been involved in the management Page 101training of staff of the European Commission as well as of course having been since 2001 the Director General of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences in Brussels and as such a cióse observer of the Brussels -the European- scene.

The hypothesis

Let me therefore state a hypothesis in terms that enables me to make some comments that I hope you will find of interest. Let me phrase the question in this way.

What is it that we need to do, in terms of reforming the state machine, that enables such a state to play a constructive role in building the integration process between states who have decided that they do wish to move in the direction of greater closeness, ever closer unión as Jean Monnetput it? What are the prerequisites of an ejfective actively-integrating system of governance and what can we as observers, trainers, practitioners within such systems do to help bring...

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