With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for local and regional civil servants.
Local and regional authorities play an important role in implementing EU policy as they work close to the public. Efficient service and a high level of expertise are crucial for the quality of public administration.
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EU-funded programmes under the e-Government initiative have helped expand online public services and improve administrative efficiency for businesses and citizens. Local and regional authorities can use the funding to simplify procedures, improve the processing of information and statistics, implement IT systems, exchange data and establish cooperation with public administrations in other EU countries.
The European Territorial Observatory Network (ESPON) helps local and regional practitioners by conducting research and analysis on various aspects of regional development. In addition, funding from the EU’s structural funds can be used to fund specialised training for civil servants, modernise equipment and infrastructure in their working environment, organise information campaigns and events, and conduct evaluations and studies.
The European Committee of the Regions, the EU body representing local and regional authorities, cooperates with civil servants across the whole of the EU via consultations and organises numerous events throughout the year. Best known is perhaps the European Week of Regions and Cities held in Brussels, where civil servants as well as experts and academics from all over EU can attend thematic workshops free of charge on topics such as territorial development, cohesion policy, social inclusion, environment, transport, research and innovation.
- EPRS Publication on ‘eGovernment: Using technology to improve public services and democratic participation’, 2015, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_IDA%282015%29565890
- European Committee of the Regions, http://cor.europa.eu
- EPRS Publication on ‘Partnership within cohesion policy’, 2017, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2017/603978/EPRS_BRI(2017)603978_EN.pdf
- EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service: www.epthinktank.eu