Reforming Public Administrations: New Public Management and the White Paper

Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


The administrative structure of the Commission has remained unchanged to a large extent for the last 20 years. Although all EU member countries shifted towards a managerial approach with more or less enthusiasm, the European Commission only took timid steps with SEM 2000 and MAP 2000. French civil servants admitted that the Commission ‘feels like the French administration of many years ago’ (McDonald, 1998, p. 33). Yet as explained in previous chapters, many reform efforts have been made in the past looking at decentralisation of tasks, emphasis on the necessity of managerial skills, flattening of the institutional structure, focusing on outputs rather than inputs, all of which define the NPM concept. Following the Commission’s resignation and the opening of a political opportunity for significant policy and institutional change for the first time since the Merger in 1965, the Commission organised itself sufficiently to design the White Paper Reforming the Commission, which Neil Kinnock wanted to make public within six months of being appointed. This chapter tests the hypothesis that NPM ideas affected the content of the White Paper and therefore the nature of institutional change in the Commission.


European Commission White Paper Public Administration Financial Management Public Management 
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Copyright information

© Emmanuelle Schön-Quinlivan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUniversity College CorkRepublic of Ireland

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