Europe needs a strong public administration to see it through times of crisis
Now more than ever, the EU needs a dedicated, efficient and effective public administration to propose solutions to problems and oversee their implementation. This was the message from European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, where was taking part in a conference on public administration organised by the French Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), where most of France's political elite have studied.
The conference, which coincides with the publication of a book on national and European public administrations to which V-P Šefčovič has also contributed, was an opportunity for the Vice-President both to defend and support the work of the European civil service and to remind MEPs and other delegates of his proposed reforms of the EU administration, taking the current economic climate into account.
In his French presentation, V-P Šefčovič echoed his speech of 10 May in Brussels where he tried to explode a few of the myths surrounding EU officials – underlining that the EU administration was reformed as recently as 2004 and is one of the leanest and most efficient in all of Europe.
But he also acknowledged the need for even greater efficiency and reminded delegates that his proposed reforms – which include a 5% staff cut, longer working hours, a later retirement age and fewer holidays – would help produce savings of €1bn by 2020 from the overall EU administration budget of around €8.3bn per year – which in turn accounts for around 6% of the €130bn annual EU budget.