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Public sector modernization trends of the member states of European Union: Trajectories of reforms in Italy and Romania

Meneguzzo, Marco and Fiorani, Gloria and Mititelu, Cristina and Matei, Lucica and Matei, Ani and Cipolleta, Germano (2010): Public sector modernization trends of the member states of European Union: Trajectories of reforms in Italy and Romania. Forthcoming in: Conference on “Reforming the Public Sector: How to Make the Difference, December 2-3, 2010”

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Research on administrative reform in Europe has demonstrated a significant variation among countries in how they choose reform strategy. We know very little about what explains the variation with regard to the extent with which the countries conduct the reforms and how they effectively influenced modernization process. Since 1980s, reactions of countries have been to maintain, modernise, marketise or minimise their public sector (Pollitt, Bouckaert 2004).

The paper investigates the markedly features of reform trends, similarities and differences in design and implementation, taking into consideration the effects of Europeanization and the multi-level governance of Public Management reforms; identifies conditions for lasting success of local governments reforms and the reasons for lack of success of different trends of modernisation and proposes a new perspective on the trajectories of modernization in public sector, through a comparative analyses between one of the founder member of EU (Italy) and a new EU member country (Romania).

Therefore, the paper will: undertake an in-depth evaluation of public management modernization trends in both countries explaining the significant variation in the objectives and ‘trajectories' of reforms on the basis of historical-institutional context dependency variable, contents and scope of reforms; perform an analysis of experiences of implementing policies and projects of modernization through programmers and common initiatives mostly carried out by the central government. The rewarding initiative '100 Projects' both in Romania and Italy sets an example of cooperation regarding the implementation of activities within the scope of the national programs for modernization and innovation of the public sector.

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