IASIA-CNFPT European conference

Territorial reforms and training of territorial agents and local elected representatives in Europe

June 19-20, 2017 in Strasbourg National Institute of Territorial Studies (INET) - Amphitheater 1 rue Edmond Michelet, 67090 Strasbourg

In a context of crises but also of transitions, the public action is deeply renovated. As a result, the forms of governance, the content of public policies, the modes of democratic expression, the identity of territories as well as the strategies of public actors are gradually evolving.

These transformations affect the development of all European countries. They are inspired by a demanding vision of the goals of public action, serving the common good, embodied in public policies, involving citizens and carried by public actors with exemplary behavior.

The vitality of a nation rests on the balance between the forces that create its unity and those that express its diversity, between its openness and its roots, between its entrepreneurial dynamism and its capacity to protect, between the vertical political logics and the horizontal ones, between the taking into account of the citizens and the assertion of the general interest.

The state and local public institutions have the responsibility to contribute to these balances. This assumes that institutional structures are organized efficiently and that the actors are competent. Indeed, there is no public action up to the challenges mentioned above without a clear and efficient organization of the State and local authorities. In addition, there is no local public action without trained actors, aware of their roles, able to perform their duties and equipped with skills.

In this context, the IASIA European seminar on "Territorial reforms and the training of local elected representatives and territorial administrators in Europe" enabled us to take stock of the institutional simplification movement engaged on a European scale with the aim of simplifying the organization of local authorities and that of the State.

A half-day was thus devoted to an inventory of changes in levels and strata of local authorities in Europe as well as of simplification reforms undertaken since 2008. As a follow up, it was discussed the need for a barometer of local institutional reforms in Europe, which could be launched under IASIA, with the support of the CNFPT.

In this context, the seminar was also an opportunity to take stock of the existing training schemes for civil servants and local elected representatives in Europe. The findings of a study carried out for the CNFPT by the Observatory on Local Autonomy (OLA) on training schemes for elected officials and civil servants in Europe were thus unveiled exclusively during the seminar. Finally, the possibility of elaborating, as a follow-up to this IASIA seminar with the support of the CNFPT, a draft "Charter of Values, Principles and Responsibilities of Public Servants in Europe" was also discussed and will be presented at the 2018 IASIA-LAGPA Conference in Lima, Peru.

A preview of the IASIA-CNFPT Charter and Barometer:
  • This charter recalls the purposes and commitments of public action which provide the raison d’être to the public officials missions in public administration.
  • Public action brings alive to democracy and the rules of law. It protects human rights and works towards common good for society. Public officials, at national and local levels, contribute to making these goals a reality through the daily running of public administration.
  • This major role for society implies duties and specific responsibilities for public officials. To understand its importance, it is necessary to remind them that they are closely linked to the values and the purposes of public action.
  • This charter presents the values, purposes, ethical principles and responsibilities as a consistent framework within which the professional activities of public officials fit and to which they give meaning.