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Coordination of Public Policies through Strategic Planning Instruments: Romania Case study

Matei, Ani and Dogaru, Tatiana-Camelia (2012): Coordination of Public Policies through Strategic Planning Instruments: Romania Case study. Published in: NISPAcee Annual Conference, Ohrid, 2012 , Vol. CD, No. CD (2012): pp. 1-12.

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Abstract

If improved public administration can be characterized as “doing things right” then the policy making process might be described as determining the appropriate things to do, so that government is “doing the right things”.

In Romania as in other transition economies, public action through government has been restructured to meet the needs of modern “market economies”. Aware of its policy-making weaknesses, Romania’s government has pursued various reforms in the last few years. The reforms introduced followed among others the strengthening of the government to create the system and mechanisms for horizontal coordination of public policies. The reasons are numerous and various, including the need to manage and maximize the efficacy of limited resources, intermission between international policies and public policy areas.

Solving the problems in a coherent manner require efficient coordination, improving cooperation between ministries and involving citizens in planning. The quality of public policy depends on a large extent on the activities of consultation and coordination, developed on one hand inside the public institutions belonging to the executive power, and on the other hand between public institutions and representatives bodies, group of interest, and the strategic planning.

Therefore, an important role in the public policy process is played by the strategic planning; its various elements can contribute directly to the understanding and formulation of policy priorities and goals. Strategic planning may be though as a “way of knowing” intended to help policy makers and managers to discern what to do, how and why.

Moreover, the institutional and legislative approach of the public policies is based on one side on the institutional management, by using instruments such as: planning of the resources or the strategic planning, and on the other side the adaptation and actualization of the necessary legislative framework.

In Romania, according to the strategy of improvement the elaboration, coordination and planning system of the public policies at the level of central public administration, the strategic planning is introduced in two stages: the management component of the strategic plans and the program budgeting component. The strategic plan plays the role of an instrument that promotes coherent public policies, ensures quality and the right justification of the public policies, and backs up the main policies to be financed.

Using the theoretical, analytical, and empirical framework, described by various scholars and by strategic documents carried out by Romania, this paper aims:

- to explore the conceptual dimension of policy instruments and strategic planning;

- to identify the mechanisms and institutions involve within strategic planning process and public policies coordination;

- to achieve a progressive analysis of the efforts made by Romania to improve the public policy process, outlining the using of strategic planning within public policy making;

The conclusions will reveal the progresses made by Romania to use the strategic planning and the possible inconsistencies and weaknesses within public policy process.

For achieving the aims of the actual paper we have used bibliographical research and study of legislation applied to domestic public policies as well as the study of procedural and strategic documents carried out by Romanian authorities for supporting the public policy-making.

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