Wednesday, 21 January 2009

EU administrative cooperation: Competence and EIPA

The Treaty of Lisbon would create a legal base for administrative cooperation aiming at effective implementation of EU law. The building of the capabilities of national public administrations would take place on a voluntary basis, as we saw in the previous blog post on Article 197 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

In this post we add a presentation of the new competence in the context of EU powers in general and a brief presentation of the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA).

There are various Commission activities and projects, but after sifting through a lot of information we ask if there is a comprehensive Commission view.



The Lisbon Treaty would create a legal base for administrative cooperation aiming at better implementation of EU law. In this regard the Lisbon Treaty adopts the solutions of the Constitutional Treaty and the European Convention, as shown in the previous blog post.

In the general classification of EU competence in different policy areas, the Lisbon Treaty sorts administrative cooperation among the seven policy areas of supporting, coordinating or supplementing action, in Article 6(g) TFEU:

Article 6 TFEU

The Union shall have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States. The areas of such action shall, at European level, be:

(a) protection and improvement of human health;

(b) industry;

(c) culture;

(d) tourism;

(e) education, vocational training, youth and sport;

(f) civil protection;

(g) administrative cooperation.



The European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) presents itself as the leading centre of European learning and development for the public sector. The EIPA headquarters are in Maastricht, with antennae in Luxembourg, Barcelona and Warsaw and a presence in Brussels.

The EIPA’s Board of Governors is composed of representatives from the EU Member States – in principle the person responsible for public administration and the public service – as well as representatives of third countries that have signed a cooperation agreement with EIPA as associated members.

We are informed that the European Commission supports EIPA through the European Union budget.
For more information about EIPA’s training, research and publications you can go to:

Comprehensive view?

Almost everything the European Community (European Union) does is political and administrative cooperation in a broad sense. But in a narrower sense, such as the capacity building administrative cooperation the Treaty of Lisbon would introduce, the Europa portal offers only fragmented information about developing customs, tax, internal market cooperation or eGovernment and eProcurement. The different Directorate-Generals also monitor the implementation of Community law in their respective fields.

But if we leave the specific projects aside, it is easier to find comprehensive EU information about the union’s role in public sector development in pre-accession countries and developing countries than with regard to the European Union itself.

Outside the European Commission there is a plethora of research, teaching and publishing in fields like administrative sciences, public administration and public governance, as well as practical development of human resources in various administrations.

Is there a holistic Commission view waiting to be communicated or created?

Ralf Grahn