Sunday, January 29, 2006

Is European Union sexy?

As the answer is "no", Austria decided to do something about it. In an effort to make the EU more sexy the Austrian authorities decided to subsidize a publicity campaign with a series of 150 posters...

Although the whole initative took place some time ago, it is such controversial that I decided to write about it here. Good article about it was published in Brussels Journal on 2005/12/29. Selection of the posters can be seen here.

PS. Recently authorities decided to remove 4 of 150 posters , because they are considered to be too obscene or offensive.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Democracy, conflict and the future

Freedom House published an interesting report "How Freedom is Won: From Civic Resistance to Durable Democracy". The document is a source of information about current realities and transformation of authoritarian rules to democracies. For all interested in the topic I also advise to read an article of Martin Wolf in Financial Times.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Learning in action!!!

Since few years in whole Europe we have been observing a transformation of self-government units from unpleasant and bureaucratic into modern and well-managed units. More and more cities are trying to attract foreign investors and tourists, supporting local communities by active cooperation with NGOs and business, helping citizens in fast & effective solving all their problems. EU City is respond of AIESEC to these trends.

Public administration is, broadly speaking, the implementation of policy within a state framework. The adjective 'public' denotes 'government', though it often encompasses nonprofit organizations, as well. It is different from private administration. A good working definition is, "taking care of the state's, and international organizations', business by civil servants within the executive branch of government, other than public policy."

A short introduction in the world of learning for our trainees...What is public administration, what impact can intergration of EU have, how can we make a change...and how can we create amazing experiences for our interns..

More info here

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Building institutions for public sector professionalism in Central and Eastern Europe

Among the variety of different topics and lines of enquiry established during the course of the CEE transition are two quite complicated and less developed issues:
1) the processes of public sector professionalization and
2) building institutional infrastructure for public sector professionalism (IIPSP).

We assume that the CEE transition is, a reality of institutional transformation and institutional building.

In that context we have to concentrate on conceptions which reflect the entire construction of the process of societal reproduction and are therefore capable of capturing the elusive reality of transition in form adequate for operationalization and practical interventions. Our study built on the hypothesis that the profession is such a conception and a proper set of polymorphous institutions. We also assume that the complexity of IIPSP demands extensive multi-disciplinary research, complex public policy changes and well-grounded re-formations.

This is just an intro..For more informations regarding the topic please use the link

Public-private partnerships as a development engine

Today I wanted to encourage you to read an article from McKinsey Quartlery which was published there in September 2005. As you can guess from the title it is about public-private partnerships. Authors point out that "business is the engine of all successful development efforts" and that "small-minded conflicts between business, government, and civil society can thwart these efforts". If you want to know their opinion on this fascinating issue, click here.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The impact of bribery on public service

How does bribery affect public service delivery? That is the question that Daniel Kaufmann, Judit Montoriol-Garriga and Francesca Recanatini ask in their most recent paper:

In analyzing the costs borne by users to obtain public services, we find that for certain basic services low income users pay a larger share of their income that wealthier ones, i.e. the bribery tax is regressive. Where there are few substitute private providers and thus a low price elasticity of the demand for public services for any income category, as in the case of basic services, low income users appear to be discouraged more often and not to seek such a basic service than wealthier ones. Thus, bribery may penalize poorer users twice over, first by acting as a regressive tax, and then as a discriminating mechanism for access to basic services.

…Econometric results suggest that corruption reduces the supply of services, while voice mechanisms and clarity of the public agency’s mission increases it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Institutions and entrepreneurship

The Austrian Economists point us to this paper by Frederic Sautet on ‘The Role of Institutions in Entrepreneurship: Implications for Development Policy.’

Institutions are vital to the expansion of entrepreneurial activity, which is at the heart of the process of development and economic growth. What is generally missing in countries with lackluster economic performance is not entrepreneurship as such but the right institutional context for entrepreneurship to take place and to be socially beneficial. What matters for development are the rules that individuals follow and how these rules are defined and enforced. In a successful economy, formal rules are aligned with informal norms and foster entrepreneurial activity by defining and enforcing property rights. The aim of economic policy and social reform must be to re-establish an institutional framework that allows for socially productive entrepreneurial activity to flourish by reducing the cost of engaging in productive activities.