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Effectiveness of Public-Service Ethics and Good Governance in the Central Administration of the EU-27

Evaluating Reform Outcomes in the Context of the Financial Crisis

Christoph Demmke and Timo Moilanen

Comparative studies of public-service ethics at the central governmental level in the EU Member States have a rather short history. Particularly, only a few studies have discussed the institutionalisation of ethics and the effectiveness of ethics instruments. Filling this gap and taking one step further, this particular comparative study analyses to what extent the transition towards a new and more complex concept of ethics and governance has proved effective and fruitful. The authors argue that discussions about ethics should be better integrated into other policy areas that affect the behaviour of public officials. These include public management reforms, human resource policies and leadership styles, perceptions of organisational fairness, impact of the ongoing financial crisis as well as cost-and-benefit considerations. The book provides a comprehensive view and analysis of the developments in the field of public-service ethics.


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A study by Demmke et al.231 on rules and standards in the field of conflicts of interests for Holders of Public Services in the EU Member States revealed that many of the new Member States who joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 have more rules in place than the former EU-15 Member States. At the same time, a correlation between corruption levels and the level of integrity did not show that higher regulated countries have lower levels of corruption. These results indicate that other factors play a role as regards the degree of corruption. For example, the need to regulate ethics also depends on the level of trust in the public ser- vice. The more trust exists, the less regulation is needed. This may be one of the explanatory factors why high trust countries like the Scandinavian States have a relatively low level of regulation concerning conflicts of interests. In this study we asked the Member States whether more rules, standards, con- trols, support, etc. are still needed as regards specific policies. The results showed that generally the Member States do not see a need for more rules with the exception of anti-corruption rules (see Table 18). The New Member States indicated somewhat higher need for more rules than the former EU-15 Member States. This need was mostly expressed as regards new rules in the fight against corruption and in public procurement. The former EU-15 countries express the strongest need for more rules in the field of post-employment. Table...

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