In the framework of the European integration process of the Western Balkan countries, the European Commission focuses support on the principle of "fundamentals first" which includes public administration reform (PAR), as well as rule of law, fundamental rights, democratic institutions, and economic development and competitiveness. These core issues are key priorities in the accession process.
One of the ways how the European Commission supports reforms in these core issues includes sector budget support which “involves the direct transfer of funds to a partner country’s budget where they can be managed using national systems.” The purpose of this approach is to strengthen local ownership as well as streamline the reform process. In 2017 Kosovo became part of this instrument for the first time, when the Government of Kosovo and the European Commission signed the Sector Reform Contract for Public Administration Reform.
The contract focuses support in key areas: such as improvement of planning and coordination of policies, improving access to public documents, improving public consultations on decision-making process of the government, improving delivery of public services to citizens and reducing administrative barriers for business sector. Each of these areas has dedicated indicators, eight for each year (2018, 2019, 2020), which were drawn from existing national strategies adopted by the Kosovo institutions.
Novus and CPM through the project “Support for Public Administration Reform” provided expertise advice to the Ministry of Public Administration in the process of negotiating the Sector Reform Contract for PAR in 2017, as well as in the phase of implementation which started in 2018.
Support was provided in:
- Coordinating interinstitutional efforts of meeting the agreed targets for 2018;
- Providing technical assistance in the management of relations with the European Commission in the framework of implementation of the Sector Reform Contract for PAR;
- Providing technical assistance in documenting and reporting fulfillment of the indicators;
- Providing direct support for fulfillment of indicators, for example the development of a methodology for the report on disciplinary measures against civil servants for violation of ethics and anti-corruption legislation;
- Supporting inter-ministerial consultations in the policy-making processes pertaining to the fulfillment of indicators;
- Providing technical assistance for public relations and implementation of outreach campaigns in order to inform the public and secure necessary support for key policies;