Based on the new approach of the European Commission in the enlargement process: Fundamentals first, a conference organised from 23-24 June 2016, in Vienna, Austria, by the Austrian Development Cooperation, the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns and KDZ-Centre of Public Administration Research, in partnership with NALAS, examined regional and national best practices towards achieving the three pillars of rule of law, economic governance and public administration reform.

The conference focused on the following topics:

  • Public Administration Reform and Capacity Development as key pillars in the enlargement process and European Integration
  • European Instruments for Public Administration Reform (PAR)
  • EU Macro-regional and SEE2020 Strategies
  • Human Resource Management in Public Administration
  • Financial Management in Public Administration
  • Urban Agenda and Local Government Reforms
  • The role of NGOs and Civil Society in PAR


In the Practice Session “Better services through strong cities”, organised by NALAS and moderated by the NALAS Executive Director Kelmend Zajazi, the President of NALAS, Mayor Naim Ismajli, said: “To keep the EU negotiation and pre-accession process on the right track, the involvement of the local governments, the cities, is of utmost importance, and that should be recognised in the strategic documents and programmes. In addition to that, and as indispensable part of the pre-accession process, the role that local governance tier plays in bringing the transpositioned EU legislation to effect should be central and should be underpinned by relevant funding. The public administration reform and improvement of public services will not happen without the local governments. That is why the constant dialogue between the central and local level, their effective and efficient interaction should be encouraged and fostered, and it ultimately should be rooted in the very base of all European strategies”.  


Natasha Ilijeva-Acevska, NALAS Program Officer, addressed in the Practice Session “Strengthening public finance governance in SEE: Complementing national and sub-national levels”, organised by the Centre of Excellence in Finance (CEF). Ms. Ilijeva-Acevska spoke about financing the local public services and investments and presented the findings of the latest NALAS Fiscal Decentralisation Indicators Report.   

The conference gathered high-level speakers, such as Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission, Goran Svilanovic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Michael Haupl, Mayor and Governor of Vienna, Austria, Andrej Plenkovic, Member of the European Parliament, former Secretary of State for European Integration, Croatia, Ministers from SEE countries, international organisations, etc.


Follow the conference live at