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“Digital revolution” – Assessing Albania’s decision to transition to only online service delivery

By |2023-08-31T15:19:33+02:0031/08/ 2023|Publications|

Following the publications of the PAR Monitor Report Albania, 2019/ 2020 and PAR Monitor Albania 2021/2022, the WeBER 2.0    research team and associates prepared two policy briefs, crosscutting PAR with other policy fields. The transition to online public service delivery and the challenge of cybersecurity on the one hand, and the importance of strengthening integrity in the public administration to fight corruption on the other, are discussed in the two cross-cutting policy briefs below.

Find the Policy Brief here (in English) and here (in Albanian).

National PAR Monitor 2021/2022 – Montenegro

By |2023-08-16T09:27:26+02:0016/08/ 2023|Publications|

The Montenegro PAR Monitor 2021/2022 is the result of monitoring work performed in 2021/2022 by the Institut Alternativa, and it represents findings from Kosovo in the six areas of PAR defined by the Principles of Public Administration (SIGMA principles). As the third systematic PAR monitoring done in Montenegro by IA, this report offers comparisons with the baseline PAR Monitor findings of the 2017/2018 and 2019/2020 monitoring cycles.

PAR Monitor reports are based on a comprehensive methodological framework designed by the WeBER research team that combines quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence. With the SIGMA principles as the building blocks of monitoring work, PAR Monitor reports are complementary to similar work by SIGMA/OECD and the European Commission, differing in that they offer citizen and civil society perspectives on these principles. Together with this comparative regional report, the PAR Monitor package consists of six national reports, each including findings on a total of 23 compound indicators to monitor a selection of SIGMA Principles.

Download here (English | Montenegrin)

Other reports 

National PAR Monitor 2021/2022 – Kosovo

By |2023-08-16T10:13:36+02:0016/08/ 2023|Publications|

The Kosovo PAR Monitor 2021/2022 is the result of monitoring work performed in 2021/2022 by the Group for Legal and Political Studies, and it represents findings from Kosovo in the six areas of PAR defined by the Principles of Public Administration (SIGMA principles). As the third systematic PAR monitoring done in Kosovo by GLPS, this report offers comparisons with the baseline PAR Monitor findings of the 2017/2018 and 2019/2020 monitoring cycles.

PAR Monitor reports are based on a comprehensive methodological framework designed by the WeBER research team that combines quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence. With the SIGMA principles as the building blocks of monitoring work, PAR Monitor reports are complementary to similar work by SIGMA/OECD and the European Commission, differing in that they offer citizen and civil society perspectives on these principles. Together with this comparative regional report, the PAR Monitor package consists of six national reports, each including findings on a total of 23 compound indicators to monitor a selection of SIGMA Principles.

Download here (English)

Other reports 

National PAR Monitor 2021/2022 – Serbia

By |2023-08-28T08:30:00+02:0027/07/ 2023|Publications|

The Serbian PAR Monitor 2021/2022 is the result of monitoring work performed in 2021/2022 by the European Policy Centre – CEP, and it represents a report of key findings from across the Western Balkans in the six areas of PAR defined by the Principles of Public Administration (SIGMA principles). As the third systematic PAR monitoring done in North Macedonia by EPI, this report offers comparisons with the baseline PAR Monitor findings of the 2017/2018 and 2019/2020 monitoring cycles.

PAR Monitor reports are based on a comprehensive methodological framework designed by the WeBER research team that combines quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence. With the SIGMA principles as the building blocks of monitoring work, PAR Monitor reports are complementary to similar work by SIGMA/OECD and the European Commission, differing in that they offer citizen and civil society perspectives on these principles. Together with this comparative regional report, the PAR Monitor package consists of six national reports, each including findings on a total of 23 compound indicators to monitor a selection of SIGMA Principles.

Download here (Serbian)

Other reports 

National PAR Monitor 2021/2022 – Albania

By |2023-08-16T09:13:04+02:0027/07/ 2023|Publications|

The Albanian PAR Monitor 2021/2022 is the result of monitoring work performed in 2021/2022 by the Insitute for Democracy and Mediation – IDM Albania, and it represents findings from Serbia in the six areas of PAR defined by the Principles of Public Administration (SIGMA principles). As the third systematic PAR monitoring done in Albania by IDM, this report offers comparisons with the baseline PAR Monitor findings of the 2017/2018 and 2019/2020 monitoring cycles.

PAR Monitor reports are based on a comprehensive methodological framework designed by the WeBER research team that combines quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence. With the SIGMA principles as the building blocks of monitoring work, PAR Monitor reports are complementary to similar work by SIGMA/OECD and the European Commission, differing in that they offer citizen and civil society perspectives on these principles. Together with this comparative regional report, the PAR Monitor package consists of six national reports, each including findings on a total of 23 compound indicators to monitor a selection of SIGMA Principles.

Download here

Other reports 

National PAR Monitor 2021/2022 – Bosnia and Herzegovina

By |2023-08-16T09:14:43+02:0021/07/ 2023|Publications|

The Bosnia and Herzegovina PAR Monitor 2021/2022 is the result of monitoring work performed in 2021/2022 by the Foreign Policy Initiative – FPI BH, and it represents a report of key findings from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the six areas of PAR defined by the Principles of Public Administration (SIGMA principles). As the third systematic PAR monitoring done in Bosnia and Herzegovina by FPI, this report offers comparisons with the baseline PAR Monitor findings of the 2017/2018 and 2019/2020 monitoring cycles.

PAR Monitor reports are based on a comprehensive methodological framework designed by the WeBER research team that combines quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence. With the SIGMA principles as the building blocks of monitoring work, PAR Monitor reports are complementary to similar work by SIGMA/OECD and the European Commission, differing in that they offer citizen and civil society perspectives on these principles. Together with this comparative regional report, the PAR Monitor package consists of six national reports, each including findings on a total of 23 compound indicators to monitor a selection of SIGMA Principles.

Download here (English)

Other reports 

National PAR Monitor 2021/2022 – North Macedonia

By |2023-07-27T15:10:07+02:0010/07/ 2023|Publications|

The North Macedonia PAR Monitor 2021/2022 is the result of monitoring work performed in 2021/2022 by the European Policy Institute – EPI, and it represents a report of key findings from across the Western Balkans in the six areas of PAR defined by the Principles of Public Administration (SIGMA principles). As the third systematic PAR monitoring done in North Macedonia by EPI, this report offers comparisons with the baseline PAR Monitor findings of the 2017/2018 and 2019/2020 monitoring cycles.

PAR Monitor reports are based on a comprehensive methodological framework designed by the WeBER research team that combines quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence. With the SIGMA principles as the building blocks of monitoring work, PAR Monitor reports are complementary to similar work by SIGMA/OECD and the European Commission, differing in that they offer citizen and civil society perspectives on these principles. Together with this comparative regional report, the PAR Monitor package consists of six national reports, each including findings on a total of 23 compound indicators to monitor a selection of SIGMA Principles.

Download here

Other reports 

Western Balkan PAR Monitor 2021/2022

By |2023-08-04T15:31:59+02:0023/06/ 2023|Publications|

The PAR Monitor 2021/2022 is the result of monitoring work performed during 2022 by the Think for Europe Network, and it represents a compilation report of all the key findings for the entire Western Balkan region in six areas of PAR defined by the SIGMA Principles of Public Administration. Furthermore, as the third systematic PAR monitoring in the region by civil society, this report offers benchmarking between WB administrations and comparison with the baseline 2017/2018, and 2019/2020 monitoring cycles.

PAR Monitor reports are based on a comprehensive methodological framework designed by the WeBER research team, combining quantitative and qualitative evidence sources. With the EU-SIGMA Principles as the building blocks of monitoring work, PAR Monitor reports complement the same type of work of the SIGMA/OECD and the European Commission and offer citizen and civil society perspectives on these Principles. Together with this comparative regional report, the PAR Monitor package consists of six national reports, each including findings on the 23 compound indicators to monitor a selection of SIGMA Principles.In

line with the WeBER mission, these monitoring exercises are driven by the necessity to strengthen domestic, bottom-up pressure for PAR from the civil society in the region, especially from the view of keeping demand for this reform ongoing in the event of loosening of the EU’s conditionality in PAR domain eventually. All findings from this report, PAR Monitor 2019/2020, and the baseline PAR Monitor 2017/2018 can be accessed and compared via the Regional PAR Scoreboard.

Download here

Monitoring reforms in the EU accession process: A Western Balkan civil society contribution

By |2023-06-02T16:16:22+02:0002/06/ 2023|Publications|

In the context of the EU’s enlargement policy, the European Commission is the institution which should be in the driver’s seat, leading the development of the policy and proposing changes and improvements of the approach. Its annual reports analyse the state of play and progress across the fundamental reform areas as well as individual negotiating chapters for all candidates and potential candidates. As such, they are the primary source for evaluating these countries’ progress in the EU integration process. Moreover, they should serve as a reliable basis for the decisions by the EU Council to make or withhold advancement of individual aspirants towards membership, including opening of negotiation clusters and closing of individual negotiation chapters.

Yet, it is doubtful whether the Commission’s monitoring and assessment mechanisms are effective enough to allow it to act in the expected capacity. In practice, the Council has frequently disregarded or decided not to follow up on the Commission’s recommendations based on these reports. This is largely due to the fact that member states continue to demonstrate a notable level of mistrust when it comes to the Commission’s approach to reform monitoring and assessment. Such an inter-institutional rift in the EU sends inconsistent and even conflicting messages to (potential) candidates, thus undermining the credibility of the enlargement policy and discouraging domestic reform processes.

The 2020 Revised enlargement methodology (REM) was announced as a game-changer in terms of how assessment and monitoring are conducted, as the Commission took upon itself to increase the use of third-party indicators. Three years later, however, the Commission’s approach has remained largely unchanged. While clusterisation of chapters was introduced to simplify and streamline the negotiating process, most other elements of the REM have remained only ideas on paper, without proper operationalisation. As a result, countries in the region continue to stall with reforms on their path to the EU, prompting civil society organisations to actively and repeatedly call for more consistent and evidence-based monitoring and assessment, in order to render the annual reports more objective, accurate, impartial, verifiable, and comparable. It is, therefore, crucial to improve the Commission’s approach to tracking reforms and ensure greater credibility of its reports, especially in face of geopolitical turbulence in and surrounding Europe. This paper explores how the Commission’s approach can be improved, reviews several civil-society-led reform monitoring initiatives, and proposes a way forward with greater utilisation of their results as objective third party indicators in line with the REM.

Download the paper here.

State administration in Serbia: a thorny road to equal opportunities and access for all

By |2023-04-19T11:53:30+02:0019/04/ 2023|Publications|

The state administration has been reforming for almost two decades, since 2004. With the adoption of the new strategic framework in 2021, it seems that the reform has gained a new momentum, with a greater orientation towards citizens and the economy. Not stopping at such a generally defined goal, the Public Administration Reform (PAR) Strategy offers an even more specific commitment towards the administration as a customer centre, that provides user-oriented services that are reasonably priced, while taking care of minority and vulnerable groups.

Despite such a far-reaching goal, the available data indicate that there is still a lack of sensibility of the administration for the needs of the citizens, especially for the vulnerable and endangered. Also, the data points to the uneven accessibility of jobs positions in the state administration – an aspect that the PAR Strategy does not deal with. If all citizens do not get the opportunity to access services, information and public facilities, not only the success of the PAR is put into question, but also the existence of an inclusive society and the exercise of human rights. Likewise, enabling persons belonging to vulnerable groups to get a job in the civil service, i.e., state administration bodies, should be one of the ways in which the reform can contribute to greater accessibility of the administration to everyone, within the broader social aspirations to reduce discrimination and respect different social needs.

Numerous international obligations and regulations of the Republic of Serbia require equal access and treatment of all persons who perform business with public authorities. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Serbia is a signatory, unequivocally stipulates that states provide equal access to institutions and services intended for the public, that is, promote the possibility of employment, including in the public sector. Also, according to the current legislation in Serbia, everyone has the right to equal access and equal protection of rights before courts and public authorities, and any discriminatory behaviour by a public official in a public authority is prohibited. In addition, employers in the public sector are obligated to provide equal employment opportunities for employment regardless of sex, gender and family status, while paying due attention to the equality of vulnerable social groups. It is particularly important to emphasise that discrimination against persons with disabilities before a public authority is considered to be administrative conduct that prevents or hinders the realisation of rights, as well as that discrimination regarding the availability of services and access to facilities in public use is prohibited.

Although PAR in Serbia is not only a long-term, but also a continuous development process that needs to be constantly adapted to new circumstances, it cannot yet be said that, as a result of this reform, we are closer to the aforementioned normative principles or dispositions, at least when it comes to the accessibility of state administration. This brief presents some of the problems with access to services, facilities, and jobs of the state administration, based on data from the WeBER PAR Monitor 2021/2022, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, and other relevant sources.

Download the brief  ENG SRB