EFB Community Voices




The European Fund for the Balkans and the Regional Research Promotional Programme are the organizers of the “Good Governance from a cross-sectoral perspective”, which will take place in Zagreb on November 7-8, 2013 (Hotel International).

Good governance has been a prominent topic during the last decade in the Western Balkans, a region still going through transition and aiming to join the European Union. The Enlargement strategy of the European Commission 2012 identifies “good governance, the rule of law, administrative capacity, unemployment, economic reform and social inclusion” as major challenges in most countries of the Western Balkans.

Even though great efforts have been invested into change-processes, Western Balkans countries are still marked by high levels of bureaucracy, informal practices, corruption and lack of accountability and transparency of public institutions that are responsible for the reforms that are running simultaneously on different levels. All this leads to a general lack of public trust.

In order to achieve progress in the area of good governance, an evidence-based approach to policy making needs to be accepted. This in turn requires strong inputs of policy research into the policy cycle, which is a systemic deficiency of most governments and sectors in the Western Balkans countries. In order to create a stronger demand for (policy) research as a basis for policy making, stronger linkages between the administration (policy makers), academic and policy research communities need to be created and benefits of an evidence based approach to public policy need to be communicated and advocated for. The potential role of EU conditionality should not be underestimated here either.

This conference will approach the discussion of the status and perspectives of good governance in the WB from a cross-sectoral perspective – i.e. joining in one learning, knowledge transfer and discussion forum the representatives of the three key “sectors”: administration, academia and policy research organisations.

The objective aims are gaining an overview of the most important good governance research and policy projects in the region (peer exchange), discussing the “good” and the “bad “of good governance concepts, including indicators, standards, practices and regional variances and bringing together researchers and policy-makers to discuss how to build bridges between research and policy-making and how future agendas in this field could look like.

The panel discussions “Good governance through evidence-based policy making”, “Good governance in the EU Integration context”, “Creating demand for good governance in the Balkans – Where do we stand? How do we proceed?”, “Management, efficiency and accountability – The good and the bad of the governance in the Balkans”, “Good governance at regional and local level, Integration and good governance”, “Good governance, civil society, democracy and EU integration”, “Policy learning in the Western Balkans: Small victories do count!” are designed to steer a wide discussion among the 60 participants from the region, in order to present the new perspectives and potential cooperation in relation to the good governance in the Western Balkans region and beyond.

For more details check the agenda