Preparing for accession negotiations in the Republic of Macedonia: What can we learn from WeBER monitoring?

This policy brief reflects on the significance of the findings of the WeBER project for the preparation of the institutional structures and procedures for managing the EU accession negotiations in the Republic of Macedonia. The WeBER project monitored a selected number of principles through its own indicators in all areas of the Principles of Public Administration and its findings are presented in a National Report and a Regional Comparative Report. These principles, offer a common denominator of public administration reform of all EU-aspiring countries, setting its course towards EU membership.

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Lack of government transparency in Serbia: Low accountability domestically and poor response to EU conditionality

The Government of Serbia falls short of ensuring transparency of its work. By regularly publishing cherry-picked information from its sessions, access to all adopted decisions becomes hardly possible and the approach to provision of information unjustifiably selective. In addition, by irregularly reporting to the public on its performance, the Government reduces possibilities for public scrutiny of its results. Also, irregular reporting on budgetary performance adds to the overall picture of insufficient and low-quality reporting. Civil society in Serbia recognises these problems and holds the view that the Government’s decision making is for the most part hidden from the eyes of the public. If the Government wishes to adhere to the principles of good governance, it can only do so by thoroughly and regularly publishing detailed information about its activities and results, thus paving the way for free exercise of public scrutiny and facilitating the accountability for its actions.

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Coping with the EU decision-making: How are the Balkan countries preparing their policymaking systems for membership?

High-quality standards in the development and coordination of public policy are always relevant in a domestic context but even more so in the framework of EU accession. Under the public administration reform (PAR) pillar of the European Union’s conditionality for the Balkans, the EU puts a strong emphasis on the improvement of the aspirants’ policy development and coordination practices. Independent monitoring suggests that the region’s governments currently display a low level of preparedness in the sphere of policymaking and coordination. Out of the broad PAR portfolio within the EU accession process, the area of policy development and coordination stands out as one of the weakest points.

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National PAR Monitor Bosnia and Herzegovina 2017/2018

This PAR Monitor report, produced by the WeBER project, provides detailed monitoring results and recommendations for Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on a comprehensive, year-long research focused on PAR. The PAR Monitor methodology is rooted in the regional approach. The design of all WeBER indicators enables comparisons between the administrations in the Western Balkans and allows for regional comparability of results.

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National PAR Monitor Albania 2017/2018

This PAR Monitor report, produced by the WeBER project, provides detailed monitoring results and recommendations for Albania, based on a comprehensive, year-long research focused on PAR. The PAR Monitor methodology is rooted in the regional approach. The design of all WeBER indicators enables comparisons between the administrations in the Western Balkans and allows for regional comparability of results.

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Western Balkan PAR Monitor 2017/2018

This Western Balkan PAR Monitor, produced by the WeBER project, provides comparative results for the entire region, based on a comprehensive, year-long monitoring research effort focused on PAR. It should be read in concurrence with the six national PAR Monitor reports, laying out detailed monitoring results and recommendations for each country.

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Western Balkan PAR Monitor 2017/2018 – Executive Summary

The PAR Monitor is the result of research undertaken over the past year by the Think for Europe Network, with the goal of providing a systematic civil society monitoring of public administration reforms (PAR) in the Western Balkans. This exercise was motivated by the need to strengthen domestic, bottom-up pressure from the civil society sector in the long run, in order to ensure that post-EU accession, when the leverage of the EU’s conditionality in the governance area weakens, the reform drive endures. Based on a robust methodological approach, combining quantitative and qualitative techniques, and building on the EU’s Principles of public administration, the PAR Monitor measures the countries’ state of play in PAR, benchmarks them against each other, and provides recommendations for improvement. The PAR Monitor also ensures complementarity with the monitoring carried out by SIGMA/OECD and the European Commission. It, therefore, provides a citizen and civil society focused perspective on the EU-SIGMA principles. The PAR Monitor comprises an overall comparative regional report and six country reports, each including findings on the 23 compound indicators designed by the WeBER project team to monitor a selection of 21 EU-SIGMA principles. All findings can be accessed via the Regional PAR Scoreboard at www.par-monitor.org. This document provides a summary of the key regional findings in the six areas of PAR.

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National PAR Monitor Serbia 2017/2018

This PAR Monitor report, produced by the WeBER project, provides detailed monitoring results and recommendations for Serbia, based on a comprehensive, year-long research focused on PAR. The PAR Monitor adopts the EU principles of public administration as the main building block of the entire endeavour, to allow for regional comparability, peer learning and peer pressure. This also allows WeBER to guide the administrative reforms in the direction of compliance with EU standards and requirements. The WeBER monitoring focus also rests strongly on the citizen-facing aspects of public administration, particularly examining issues of transparency, information provision to the public, citizen participation, accountability, equal opportunity and integrity.

The Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform – WeBER – is a three-year project aiming to increase the relevance, participation and capacity of civil society organisations and media in the Western Balkans to advocate for and influence the design and implementation of public administration reform. WeBER is implemented by the Think for Europe Network (TEN), composed of six EU policy-oriented think tanks in the Western Balkans, and in partnership with the European Policy Centre (EPC) from Brussels.

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