Dr Gregor Virant is head of SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management) is a joint initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Union. He worked as an international consultant and part-time professor of public administration and administrative law at the University of Ljubljana. He served as state secretary for public administration in Slovenia from 2000-2004 and was responsible for the preparation of Slovenian public administration for accession to the EU, including the reform of civil service. From 2004 to 2008 he served as minister for public administration and carried out several successful reforms in the areas of administrative burden reduction, improvement of administrative services quality and e-government. He led negotiations with public sector trade unions for a new salary system and successfully brought it to an end by signing collective agreements in 2008. Some of the projects that were developed under his leadership were internationally recognized (one-stop-shop project for starting up a business received a UNPS award, Slovenia ranked 2nd in the EU in the area of sophistication of online services in the EU sponsored Cap Gemini survey in 2007). From December 2011 to February 2013 he served as speaker of the national parliament, from 2013 to 2014 as minister of interior, responsible also for public administration. As an international consultant, he has been cooperating with several international organizations (WB, UNDP, EC, OECD, Council of Europe) and consultancy companies, mostly on projects in the Western Balkan and Ukraine. He was head of PAR team in the Delivery unit, a UNDP project supporting the Prime Minister of Serbia, and head of an EU high-level Advisory Group for PAR in Ukraine.
Kalypso Nicolaidis, currently Chair in Global Affairs at the School of Transnational Governance (EUI), holds previous positions at the University of Oxford, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and Ecole Nationale d’Admiration, Paris. She has a history of collaboration with EU institutions and served as an advisor to various governments and international organizations.
At the EUI, she teaches courses on topics such as transnational politics, responsible negotiation, and EU-Africa relations. She is actively involved in multiple initiatives, including the EUI-wide Democracy cluster, the Transnational Democracy Initiative, and the Global Peace Tech Hub. Her research spans European integration, global affairs, democratic theory, international trade, post-colonialism, and more.
Her recent books include “A Citizen’s Guide to the Rule of Law” (with Adis Merdzanovic, 2021) and “Exodus, Reckoning, Sacrifice: Three Meanings of Brexit” (2019). For additional information on her projects and publications, visit her website: http://kalypsonicolaidis.com
Thomas Prorok is Deputy Managing Director of the Austrian based KDZ Centre for Public Administration Research. Since more than 15 years he is working in the field of Public Administration Reform, Decentralisation and Local Governments as well as EU-Integration. Thomas is Head of the “Austrian CAF-Center” which is the European system for quality management in the public sector. And he was programme-manager of LOGON – the Local Governments Network for EU-Integration.
He studied European Law and holds a master degree in political science from the University of Vienna and is editor of manifold publications on local governments, quality management and European Integration e.g. the “LOGON Report impact of European Union on Local Authorities”.
Ms. Handjiska Trendafilova is the Director of ReSPA – the regional intergovernmental organization supporting public administration reforms in Western Balkans (WB). Her professional career of two decades, drawing upon regional and international multilateral experience, has chiefly been dedicated to furthering the EU integration and regional cooperation processes in WB. Heading the Programme Department in RCC, she has earlier been coordinating the Regional Economic Area and Common Regional Market agendas, as endorsed by WB Prime Ministers. Steering intergovernmental regional platforms in numerous policy areas, she has significantly contributed to: deepening regional cooperation; substantial regional mutual learning, know-how, and best practice exchange; enhanced institutional capacities, legislative and policy reforms, as well as a number of regional multilateral legal instruments, agreements, and protocols.