Published in: Burian Alex. Kontiades Xen.,(eds), The Institutional Reforms in the Republic of Moldova in the Context of European Integration, Proceedings, International Conference, Institute of History, State and Law, Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Chisinau, Moldova, pp 102-106,
MODELING PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION:
NORMATIVE VERSUS OPERATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRADITION
IN EU MEMBER STATES
Theodore N. Tsekos
Assistant Professor of Public Administration
The Higher Institute for Technological Education of Kalamata
1. THE EUROPEAN ADMINISTRATIVE DIVERSITY
European states share some common political traditions: free elections, public participation and accountability, freedom of speech, local self-government. Regardless of such similarities the structural and functional transcription of this common political heritage at the administrative level generates public organization paradigms of a great diversity. Many scholars of European PA are discussing the phenomenon of lack of administrative uniformity in Europe and more precisely between the EU member-states.
According to Toonen and Raadschelders1 there is a historical institutional variation of the national administrative systems in Europe. Such a variation generates a multitude of state traditions and, thus, styles of Governance in the European countries. The authors organize European politico-administrative differences according to the following six bi-polar divisions.
1. East-West division
Western European governance developed through Renaissance, Enlightenment and Reformation is based on a tradition of:
T.A.J. Toonen, J.C.N. Raadschelders, (1997), Public Sector Reform in Western Europe, Background paper for the, Conference on Comparative Civil Service Systems, School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), Indiana University
While, in contrast, eastern governance traditions seem to be more influenced by •
spiritual and religious matters
2. North-South division
Major differences occurred between the northern European countries influenced by Protestantism and the southern, Catholic, states.
Protestantism in the form of Calvinism in the Netherlands, Anglicanism in the UK, and Lutheranism in the northern parts of the German territories and the Nordic countries, was established in regions with local self-government tradition. The protestant churches were organised as governance mechanisms of local communities. Reformation and rationalism jointly promoted capitalism.
Catholic territories maintained a tradition of strong central government with deconcentrated units in the periphery.
These legacies still influence public organization. In the centralised countries of catholic tradition, recent reforms focused on the region, while in the protestant countries with self-government tradition, reforms focused on local government. 3. Napoleonic and non-Napoleonic Systems
The Napoleonic administrative reforms intensified the North-South distinction. In the countries conquered by Napoleon central government was strengthened, while in the non-Napoleonic countries the reforms ultimately led to elaboration of the role of local
government. In non-Napoleonic countries such as the Netherlands various 'Napoleonic' reforms were upheld, and after some time 'balanced' with the more German organic tradition.
By organic tradition the authors refer to an horizontal/ peer kind of spatial integration and policy coordination, contrasting with the Napoleonic centralized and hierarchical integration model. Balancing Napoleonic and organic traditions means to combine elements from both organizational and –mainly- cultural modes. Centralization, of course, is not an invention of the Napoleonic era but attainted its...
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