The Impact of Cross-Border Cooperation on Human Resources Employed in Local Administration: The Case of the Romanian-Hungarian Border Area
Local communities in border areas, which have been until recently separated by political borders intended to legitimate and defend the essence of the nation-state, discovered in cross-border cooperation (CBC) a facilitator of good neighborly relations, economic opportunities, or a possibility to promote innovative and high-quality public services. At a European level, cross-border cooperation, supported by the integration policies of the EU, highlighted the growing role of local authorities and communities, as stakeholders and beneficiaries alike. This paper presents the results of a survey-based research conducted among managers, experts, and staff from local public administration, across the Hungarian-Romanian border, analyzing their opinion regarding the changes to their institutions brought forth by their involvement in cross-border actions in the Bihor–Hajdú-Bihar Euroregion. It focuses on revealing aspects such as the issue of human resources in local administration, the relationship between CBC projects developed by local administration and the employees’ expectations, involvement in decision-making, and prospects and career satisfaction in (local) public administration. Research results show that the local governments’ involvement in CBC projects should not only consider the opportunities of additional financing sources or improving cross-border relations in various fields (economic, cultural, communication, health, public order, tourism), as the results also reveal specific vulnerabilities and a particular indifference of local administration staff to generous, but often less tangible, objectives of CBC projects. The research also highlights the key role of human resource quality, echoing the role of managers in the selection, retention, and efficient use of human resources, linking the projects’ objectives to individual performance and expectations of a career in public administration.
KeywordsRomania-Hungary cross-border cooperation Human resources Local public administration
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