• 25 July 2013

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    Category : Opinion

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    The value of an International Administration

    Our 1st Forum will place the emphasis on the important role played by Spanish civil servants in strengthening Spain's image abroad.

    In recent days, two events have taken place which are very important for a public foundation like the FIIAPP: the approval of the reform of public administrations and the presentation of our first annual forum, which will emphasise the important role played by Spanish civil servants in strengthening Spain’s image abroad.

    Even though I am aware of the great differences between these two initiatives, it seems to me to be particularly relevant that, in both cases, a significant role is played by the internationalisation of administrations. The vast majority of the world’s citizens are completely unaware of that role, but it is nonetheless of considerable political and economic importance (which, unfortunately, is never measured).

    The internationalisation of the public administrations differs to a great extent from that of the private sector. Companies venture abroad mainly to sell more products or services. Though there are isolated cases (I have just remembered a border post which, due to the high level of corruption of the customs administration of the country of origin, the decision was taken to hand over its management to foreign public bodies, and I don’t think it’s an isolated case) or public companies that attend to the needs of foreign citizens, the purpose of public administrations is to provide services to people in their own countries. The fundamental aim of internationalisation is the exchange of knowledge between equals.

    The Commission for the Reform of Public Administrations (CORA) in Spain has demonstrated that it is very much aware of the value of this exchange of knowledge. Evidence of this is the way in which the experience of Canada, France and the United Kingdom in the modernisation of their respective administrations has been taken as a fundamental reference and a vital asset to guarantee the success of its proposal.

    The 1st FIIAPP Forum of Expertswill also have that exchange of knowledge at its heart. But in this case for projects in which the information flows in a different way. For cases in which the Spanish administration provides its knowledge to other administrations which want to follow a similar route. In this regard, it will come as no surprise if, as currently occurs in the spheres of Justice, the Environment, Organ Donation or the Safety of railway networks,within a few years it is Spanish civil servants of worldwide prestige who go to other countries to explain the recently-approved reform of the public administrations.

    Allow me, in conclusion, to move away from the theme slightly, to tell you just how important it is for us that we were mentioned in the text of the CORA report on two occasions. One to highlight how important it is that institutions like the FIIAPP should generate revenue abroad, favouring economic growth and the fight against the public deficit. And the other to stress the need to improve the coordination of the Spanish public entities that work abroad. We are committed to both objectives and we hope to continue to respond successfully to the challenges they represent.

    P.S.: Naturally, you are all invited to the Forum on the 26th of November. For all of us who form part of the FIIAPP, it will be an honour to welcome you.

    Javier Quintana
    Director of the FIIAPP

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.