Policy brief 3 – A reform of Public Administration focused on managing

Policy Brief 3 already available: A reform of the Public Administration focused on management (in Portuguese), by Maria Augusta Fernandes. With this Policy Brief we start our series of original publications around the European Semester, and more specifically the Stability Program and the National Reform Program.

The European Semester is a process of political dialogue between the European Commission and the member states which consists in an exchange of drafts, programmes and recommendations regarding the implementation of public policies and institutional reforms. For this, two particular documents are relevant in this dialogue: the Stability Program and National Reform Program.

The Stability Program is the main document on fiscal policy and the sustainability of public finances in the medium term. The budgetary targets set each year in this document, in conjunction with macroeconomic forecasts that underlie them, are used by the European Commission staff when assessing the compliance of EU member states with the main medium-term fiscal rules.

On the other hand, the National Reform Program is broader in its scope and should reflect a strategic vision for public policy and institutional reform.

Maria Augusta Fernandes addresses the issue of “State reform”, and argues that it should focus on public organizations and the management perspective, and on the “Modernization of the State” objective, one of the six pillars of the Reform Program, not in an abstract Public Administration, imposing standards without adherence to the various realities. Thus, the author analyzes the main governmental actions in this field, in the light of management knowledge, and indicates the open administration as a possible path for reform.