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EIPA, Maastricht European Commission, 10 February 2012

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1 Civil Services in the EU of 27 Reform Outcomes and the Future of the Civil Service
EIPA, Maastricht European Commission, 10 February 2012 Prof Dr Christoph Demmke, EIPA

2 Why this presentation? Comparative Study National Administrations
How relevant is the reform process in the Member States for EU officials? Will the EU Institutions follow the reform trend in the Member states? If yes, in which areas? To what extend? How much will your work/job/status be concerned ?

3 Comparison: How civil service is defined in the eu member states
Similarities among Member States Differences among Member States

4 Similarities all Member States have a specific public law status for civil servants (also in Sweden, UK a specific case, CZ republic in reform vacuum), no abolishment of public law status despite all reforms all EU Member States employ civil servants and other categories of staff, no privatisation of Government (specific ethical obligations remain) In all Member States civil servants have specific working conditions (e.g., specific ethical requirements, enhanced job security, specific recruitment systems and selection requirements) Civil servants in most Member states still work in a specific hierarchical and organisational structure – Bureaucracy (slowly disappearing) In all Member States no trend towards a uniform public employment status but pluralisation of different statuses In most Member States alignment between public employees and private sector employees working conditions (best case is job security)

5 Differences among Member States
Different definitions of the term civil service (narrow vs. broad) – Ireland vs. France Proportion of civil servants in public employment varies significantly, between 0,5% - 100% in some countries all public tasks may be carried out by civil servants (no restrictions, case NL) some countries reserve specific functions only to civil servants (case D, in theory) in some countries, constitutions and civil service laws require that certain tasks should “as a principle!” be carried by civil servants trend towards more flexibility (“loi de mobilité”, France) Working conditions vary significantly, reflecting common private-sector practices or specific public-sector traditions Most Member States employ civil servants and public employees (and fixed-term employees) Employment of civil servants in administrative sectors differs considerably, trend towards a core civil service level

6 Do these administrative sectors belong to central civil service or do they have their own civil service systems?

7 Percentage of civil servants and other employees by Member State
Czech Republic 0% civil servants, 62% public employees, 38% officials in territorial self-governmental units Sweden 1% statutory civil servants, 99% contractual employees Latvia 6% civil servants, 94% public employees Poland 6% civil servants, 94% civil service employees Romania 6% civil servants, 1% specific civil servants, 93% public employees United Kingdom 10% civil service, 90% wider public sector Ireland 13% civil servants, 87% public servants (*) Italy 15% civil servants (under public law), 85% civil servants (under labour law) Portugal 15% appointed civil servants (public law status), 85% civil servants (labour law status) ** Hungary 25% civil servants, 75% public employees Cyprus 28% civil service, 17% education, 15% security, 14% crafts­men and labourers, 20% semi-government organisations, 6% local authorities Slovenia 34 % civil servants, 66% public employees Denmark 36% civil servants, 66% public employees Germany 37% civil servants, 59% employees 59%, 4% soldiers Bulgaria 48% civil servants, 52% contractual staff Member state Percentage of civil servants and other employees Spain (**) 59% civil servants, 27% contracted personnel 14% other types of staff (regional and local level excluded) Lithuania 67% civil servants, 28% employees under labour contract, 5% other Malta 67% civil servants, 33% public sector employees France 73% civil servants, 15% contract agents, 12% other specific staff Greece 74% civil servants, 26% contractual personnel Belgium (**) 75% civil servants, 25% contractual employees Luxembourg 77% civil servants , 23% public employees Finland 83% civil servants, 17% public employees (regional and local level excluded) Slovakia 85% civil servants, 10% public employees, 5% contractual employees Estonia 90% public servants, 7% support staff, 3% non-staff public servants Netherlands 100% civil servants (*) In Ireland only those who work for the ministries are called civil servants, others are public servants. (**) These figures concern only the federal level administration (in Spain the regional level) and the central Government in Portugal.

8 Identifying Major reform Trends
Organisational Reforms HR Reforms

9 Change of public employment and substance of public employment.
Reduction of public employment Reduction of percentage of civil servants in total public employment (exceptions: Lux, Germany, Bulgaria) Blurring of boundaries: More public employees working in civil service functions Increase of flexible contracts or precarious employment (see also ECJ: 586/10) (a third class emerging?) alignment of civil servants‘ working conditions with other public employees and private sector

10 Main differences between civil servants and other public employees by issue and Member State (1 = different, 2 = similar)

11 Common Reform Trends in All EU Member States
Grand Reform Trends Common Reform Trends in All EU Member States a broader process of debureaucratisation and organisational reform This entails decentralisation of HR competences responsibilisation (increased discretion for line managers) reform of org. structures (careers) and flexibilisation (cases: recruitment procedures, career development, job security, pay)

12 Decentralisation of powers, competences and responsibilities
From central level to decentralised authorities (state level) From central responsibilities (at ministerial level) to decentralised responsibilities in ministries and agencies From Top-level to middle management („let managers manage“) Brings more participative approaches

13 Level of central regulation by policy and by EU Member State (1=Centrally regulated, 2=Not centrally regulated) A = Equality and diversity policy B = Legal status C = Pension system D = Basic salary E = Recruitment procedure F = Performance appraisals G = Career structure H = Career development policy

14 Vertical decentralisation and multi-actor involvement in EU public administrations
Source: Demmke, Hammerschmid and Meyer, Decentralisation and Accountability as Focus of Public Modernisation Reforms, Office of Official Publications of the EU, Luxemburg, 2006, p. 51

15 Developments in top managers’ and middle managers’ responsibilities in recent years by HRM policy (1=lot more, 2=some more, 3=same, 4=some less, 5=lot less) A = Career development, B = Training, C = Relocating, D = Recruitment, E = Performance pay, F = Promotions, G = Working time, H = Diversity policy, I = Performance plans, J = Poor performance, K = Code of conduct, L = Dismissal, M = Discipline, N = Mean

16 Consequence: Leadership more important and more problematic
Expectations as to good leadership are rising Employees are more critical and demanding but image (and dream?) of „charismatic“ leadership remains Financial crisis „Bringing the bad news“ and decline in trust in Leadership Workload increasing In appraising peole, need for more discussion, feedback, communication, networking, allocation of HR tasks Leadership is not about strategies and „thinking“ , it is tough, ad-hoc and fragmented daily life decision-making (Mintzberg) Often, higher expectations are not matching skill developments. Overestimation authorities but classical image of sovereign and charismatic leader prevailing Conclusion: Leadership more important but more problematic than ever

17 Attitude towards Leaders and Leadership

18 From traditional, hierarchical and closed organisations to open and flexible org. structures
no exclusive ladder-based recruitment system, abolishment of seniority possibility of mid-career and top-level hiring recognition of private-sector experience in career development, pay and pension calculation

19 Relaxation of job security
enhanced job security for civil servants still persists lifetime tenure gradually disappearing more grounds for job termination Recruitment of more fixed-term employees

20 Termination of civil-servant employment by type of civil-service structure
(Frequencies in parenthesis) Few grounds (1-2) Some grounds (3-5) Many grounds (6-7) Total Type of civil-service system Career structure 50 (9) 28 (5) 22 (4) 100 (18) Non-career structure 0 (0) 44 (4) 56 (5) 100 (9) 33 (9) 100 (27)

21 Termination of civil-servant employment by EU Member State (1=Yes, 2=No)
A = Disciplinary reasons B = Poor performance C = Restructuring D = Downsizing E = Re-organisation F = Economic difficulties G = Other H = Sum

22 Increased mobility organisational mobility: reduction and abolishment of rigid and hierarchical careers > mobility enhanced individual mobility: enhanced voluntary and obligatory job mobility (as basis for promotions) public-private mobility: enhanced mobility between public and private sectors (mostly in theory, in practice little mobility from private to public) International mobility still very low (check: case law on Art TFEU)

23 Analysing Reform Outcomes
Successes and challenges

24 The context And the European Commission?
Reformresistent Public Services – a Myth ! Reformboom in most Member States. Reform of Public Employment Reform of Status Reform of Working Conditions and Pay systems Organisational reforms (reform of recruitment systems) Pension Reforms etc. However, Public Services first and „easy“ target for austerity policies, many reforms (mostly cut-back policies) respond to public pressure and clichés (case: public sectors too big, too costly, too many privileges!) And the European Commission?

25 New reforms. The Financial Crisis
A widening gap (Germany vs. Portugal) Generally trend towards the freezing or reduction of salaries, less opportunities for promotion because of cuts in employment, longer working week, cut of allowances, longer working life = Impact on attractiveness of public employment? (in some countries more, in others less)

26 Impact of austerity measures on workplace level (N=25)

27 Effect of financial crisis on public trust (N=25)
General government deficit/surplus 2010 (% of GDP) Mean Low-level deficit (< -4,2) 3,00 Middle-level deficit (-7.0 to -4,2) 3,75 High deficit (> -7.0) 4,38 (1=increased trust, 5=decreased trust)

28 Reform outcomes in HR policies – Empirical findings
Ambivalent outcomes, z.B. PRP, accountability, ethics and fight against corruption (more rules and standards but better effects?, politicisation, decentralisation and cohesion, impact of less job security, performance measurement, increase of performance management bureaucracy, new unfairness perceptions etc. Progress: Citizen orientation, Transparency, Anti-Discrimination, Working Time Flexibilisation, Combination Job-Family, Equality, Mobility, partly reduction of adm. burdens Overall: less progress in central europe (but what is the reference value? 1990?)

29 Vulnerability of HR-reform trends to integrity violations (N=24)

30 The case of Pay reforms: Unfairness in the Seniority System
Individual Organizational Unequal pay for equal work Discrimination of young employees Free-riders Undifferential compensation Above average performance poor performance Limited career options Little alignment with private sector payment

31 …to unfairness in the PRP System
Individual Organizational Unprofessional Assessment Measured variable Favouritism Transformation into benefits Quota Discrimination Goal-setting Financial insufficiencies Insecurity Intensification of work Unsteadiness of goals Intransparency Pay differentiation within and across agencies Rewards at the cost of other employees Social immobility

32 Findings and preliminary results: micro-level development
How would you judge the development of the working conditions in your organisation? 32


34 How to measure? Measuring traditional bureacuracy indicators (Weber, in: Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft) Main components Component items (item’s relative weighting within component) 1) Legal status 2) Career structure 3) Recruitment 4) Salary system 5) Tenure system public law status (100%) existence of career structure (50%) career development centrally regulated (20%) entrance from the bottom (15%) promotions to other positions at mid-career or top-level not possible (15%) special recruitment requirements (50%) recruitment centrally regulated (30%) private sector experience not relevant (20%) basic salary regulated by law (50%) wage system based on seniority (25%) wage system not based on performance (25%) lifetime tenure (high job security) (40%) termination rather difficult (40%) job security differs from private sector (20%)

35 Moving away from traditional bureaucratic features
But: no uniform trend towards a single new European administrative model, however (is “NPM” dead?) But: Member States showing different reform paths and reform priorities But: new reforms are not necessarily producing better outcomes

36 Traditional bureaucracy – post-bureaucracy continuum score by EU Member State

37 Development of Administrative Models
0% = traditional bureaucracy, 100% = post-bureaucracy

38 la bureaucratie est morte - vive la bureaucratie Future of civil service
many anti-bureaucratic changes – but no new universally accepted reform model less civil servants less specific working conditions Member States move away from hierarchical, rule-bound systems towards more open and more flexible systems No evidence showing that classical civil services have lower corruption levels and less politicisation DO WE STILL NEED CIVIL SERVANTS?

39 Correlation Bureaucratic structures and Corruption

40 Final remarks No evidence showing new solutions and new systems are better: reforms produce both positive and negative outcomes New Public Management did not produce the desired reform outcomes: some features of the traditional bureaucratic model still persist

41 Future of civil service

42 Managing efficiency – doing more with less?
Public tasks may change, but do not disappear New challenges (risks, threats…) Need for new jobs in certain sectors (health sector, social sector, IT – increasing shortages) Introduction of more austerity measures and ongoing budgetary constraints

43 The proportion of elderly population (aged 65 and over) in five case countries, (% of the total population)

44 Age Management: Designing new work structures, work mentalities, flighting discrimination – a new challenge (Source: Illmarinen)

45 A new understanding of Fairness. Better or simply different?
The era in which “treating everybody the same meant treating everybody fairly” is not anymore the paradigm of our times. The age of standardization were well suited for the belief in and practice that equal treatment for all is fair treatment. Postmodern challenge experts opinion on how to treat people unequally and yet to be fair A new discourse on distributional justice, procedural justice and interactional justice needed?

46 The merit principle is dead. Long live the merit principle !!!
Today, the Member States of the European Union have become more meritocratic and, at the same time, more polarized. Today, rising levels of inequality and problems with social mobility can lead to a loss of social capital, frustration, discontentment and aliena The paradox with the principle of meritocracy lies with the problem that our systems which reward “talented people” leave no hiding place for those who do not succeed in the competitive struggle.

47 Future of civil service

48 Reform outcomes Public Services are subject of many images and perceptions. Often not based on facts. Often, reforms are implemented because of reform fashions, perceptions and images but not because of knowledge of facts and rational analysis. For example. Bureaucracy is bad vs New Public Management is good, centralisation is bad vs decentralisation is good, rigidity is bad vs flexibility is good, rules are bad vs. deregulation is good, public services are efficient vs. private sector services are more efficient What do we actually know? 48

49 Analysing Reform outcomes
Most Reform outcomes have paradoxical or unintentional effects Reform language is manipulative Focus is on „trendy reforms“ Many expectations to reforms are contradictory Reforms and institutional design must be seen together

50 Need for better analysing unintentional effects

51 Paradoxes:Pollitt and Bouckaert
Give priority to making savings/improving the performance of the public sector. Motivate staff and promote cultural change/weaken tenure and downsize. Reduce burden of internal scrutiny and associated paperwork/sharpen managerial accountability. Allocate new responsibilities to government/reduce the range of tasks that government is involved with. Create more single-purpose agencies/improve horizontal coordination (‘joined-up government’; ‘horizontality’). Decentralise management authority/improve programme coordination. Improve quality/cut costs. [1] Bouckaert, Geert & Pollitt, Christopher (2011). Public Management Reform. A Comparative Analysis. Second edition. Oxford, p.164.

52 Towards a better understanding of adminis- trative cultures and traditions
tradition and administrative culture are still important how to explain convergence and Europeanisation trend and differentiation trend at the same time? significant differences between and within country groups Eastern European countries a heterogeneous group Mediterranean states a homogeneous group Scandinavian states quite post-bureaucratic, despite some variations among them Anglo-Saxon group of countries a quite heterogeneous group Continental countries a rather homogeneous group with the exception of Netherlands classification of civil service-service systems into career vs. position system countries not fruitful anymore

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