On June 27, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) held a Roundtable Discussion on the topic: “Challenges of the Public Administration Reform: Where does Kosovo stand?”, held in Prishtina. The aim of this event was to discuss the progress of the implementation of the Public Administration Reform (PAR) so far, and to identify the institutional achievements, failures and challenges encountered over the years. The panel had the chance to reflect upon the expectations and the institutional commitment in implementing PAR which represents one of the main criteria for the European agenda of the country. At the beginning of the discussion, GLPS presented a Policy Report entitled: “Policy-making cycle in Kosovo: A view on systematic challenges and potential reform direction”. This report maps all actors relating to the policymaking process, identifies common characteristics of the process, and provides a comprehensive analysis of the nature of the policymaking process in Kosovo while delivering concrete policy recommendations to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and stability of the policymaking process.
First to address the audience was the Minister of the Public Administration, Mr. Mahir Yagcilar. “Modernizing and reforming the public administration is crucial and directly contributes to the improvement of service delivery towards the citizens in general”, stated Mr. Yagcilar. He added that Kosovo is strongly committed in further progressing in implementation of PAR, while emphasizing that this process is of a significant importance for Kosovo’s future towards the EU.
On the other hand, the Deputy Minister of Finances, Mr. Gashi, said that every draft law and strategic document is always passed through the Ministry of Finances for a financial assessment and the financial implications that a certain law entail for the overall Kosovo budget. This said, the PAR law package that is currently in the process is also being evaluated by the Ministry of Finances, in terms of financial implications.
Continuing the discussion, Ms. Hajrullahu from the Kosovo Civil Society Foundation highlighted the important role that the civil society plays towards the public administration reform process and requiring more inclusiveness approach from the institutions of Kosovo. In addition, she said that Kosovo has received tremendous assistance by the international partners throughout the years, in particular from the European Union, in order to further progress on implementing PAR. However, Kosovo has failed to achieve concrete progress on this regard and we still remain at a level where the public administration is highly politicized, lacks professional capacities while the nepotism is very high.
Finally, Mr. Tahiri who has been just recently appointed as the National Coordinator for State Reforms at te Office of the Prime Minister was the last to address the audience. During his speech, Mr. Tahiri noted that the implementation of PAR is underway and presents one of the key pillars of the state building. He also noted that since end of war, Kosovo inherited a significantly high number of employees that were excluded from the system during the 90’s, in the same period when the good governance principles were promoted in Europe and beyond. Another challenges were also the process of transferring competencies from UNMIK to the local institutions, as well as the lack of proper policies and laws that has led to fragmented system and overlap of institution competencies and policies.
Fundamentally, the panel agreed that after the adoption of the law package that will be soon happening, a new chapter will be opened for the Kosovo’s institutions, and the focus will be given to the standardization of the procedures, clear set of hierarchy and accountability, and will progressively influence in increasing meritocracy and returning trust to institutions. In general, this discussion helped the panelists to reflect on the inter-institutional cooperation and the importance of this dimension toward the efficient implementation of the public administration reform.
Mr. Mahir Yagcilar – Minister, Ministry of Public Administration;
Mr. Fatmir Gashi – Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance;
Mr. Besnik Tahiri – National Coordinator for State Reforms, Office of the Prime Minister;
Ms. Venera Hajrullahu – Executive Director, Kosovo Civil Society Foundation;
Ms. Albana Rexha – Author of the report and Research Fellow, GLPS.
Venue: Orion Conference Centre, Prishtina
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