Completed projects

COCOPS - Coordinating Cohesion for the Public Sector of the Future (FP7)

The COCOPS project, funded from the EU's FP7 program and starting in 2011 and ending in 2014, seeks to comparatively and quantitatively assess the impact of New Public Management-style reforms in European countries, drawing on a team of European public administration scholars from 11 universities in 10 countries including, among others: the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Steven van de Walle, Sandra van Thiel), the Public Management Institute of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Christopher Pollitt, Geert Bouckaert), the Hertie School of Governance (Gerhard Hammerschmid), and Bocconi University Milan (Eduardo Ongaro). The Hungarian partner of the consortium is the Deparment of Public Policy and Management of theCorvinus University of Budapest.

The project analyses the impact of reforms in public management and public services that address citizens' service needs and social cohesion in Europe. Evaluating the extent and consequences of NPM's alleged fragmenting tendencies and the resulting need for coordination is a key part of assessing these impacts.

Important work packages in the Hungarian research:

1) Questionnaire survey of senior public managers (WP3)

2) Government coordination: problems and innovations (WP5)

3) The impact of the economic and fiscal crisis on government and government coordination (WP7)

For more information click here, or contact the head of the project, Gyorgy Hajnal.


TED5 - Fifth Trans-European Dialogue in Public Administration: The politics of agency governance

Budapest, 2-4 February 2012

Over the past three decades agencification has become part and parcel of the government machine in countries all around the world. Agencification refers to the creation of semi-autonomous agencies. These agencies operate at arms’ length of the government and are charged by the government to carry out all kinds of executive and regulatory tasks.

This conference will focus on aspects of politics in and around agencies in CEE, CIS and Western European countries. "Politicians" include both ministers as members of executive cabinets, as well as, the role of Parliament and parliamentarians, as political parties. We invite speakers to discuss issues like:

  • The appointment of agency CEOs and board members (including issues of patronage and politicization)
  • The influence of agencies on the political and/or policy debate
  • The role of politics and politicians in the decision to create agencies
  • The role of politics and politicians in the governance (steering, control) of agencies
  • The merits of agencification for politicians and political parties (incl. shifting of blame and risks, direct influence through appointments, assets in political bargains…)
  • The effects of interference by politicians in agency matters for the functioning of agencies

TED5, like the previous Trans-European Dialogues, is a focused, invitation-only meeting of 40-50 participants from Europe. Rather than formally presenting all attendees' papers, the format centers around intense dialogue and discussions between the participants.

For more information visit the official TED web site or contact the chair of the Organizing Committee, Gyorgy Hajnal.

Related publications:

  1. Koen Verhoest, Sandra van Thiel, György Hajnal, Külli Sarapuu, Calin Hintea (2013) (eds): The politics of agency governance. NISPAcee Journal of Public Administration and Policy 5:2 (Special Issue)


EU COST Action IS0601 CRIPO: Comparative Research into Current Trends in Public
Sector Organization

New trends changing the structuring and functioning of the public sector are observed.

Specialization within large bureaucracies results in the establishment of autonomous agencies, urging stricter coordination of policy sectors and governmental levels, and new ways of contract-based result control. Although governments are adapting to these trends at an increasing pace, there remains lack of scientific proof of the beneficial effects of these trends for the performance of the public sector.

Most research efforts suffer from a lack of internationally comparative data, longitudinal data, and ill-concerted research methods.  This Action resolves these drawbacks by bringing together scholars on a European platform for comparative and longitudinal research, which will lead to empirical, theoretical and methodological advancements in the field. Also, results that are grounded in scientific research will inspire policyrelevant recommendations to guide decision-makers in their policies on the organization of the public sector.

For more information click here and here or contact the project's research director, Gyorgy Hajnal.

Related publications (selection; for the full list click here):

  1. Hajnal, György (2012): Hungary. In: Koen Verhoest , Sandra Van Thiel , Geert Bouckaert , Per Lægreid (2012) (eds): Government Agencies Practices and Lessons from 30 Countries, Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 288-299
  2. T.Randma-Liiv, V.Nakrosis & G.Hajnal: Comparing Agencification in CEE Countries In: Koen Verhoest , Sandra Van Thiel , Geert Bouckaert , Per Lægreid (2012) (eds): Government Agencies Practices and Lessons from 30 Countries, Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 335-340
  3. Hajnal, György (2012): Studying dynamics of government agencies: Conceptual and methodological results of a Hungarian organizational mapping exercise, International Journal of Public Administration 35:12
  4. Hajnal, György, Vitalis Nakrosis & Tiina Randma-Liiv (2011) (eds): Agencies in Central and Eastern Europe (Special issue of the Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences)
  5. Hajnal, György (2011): Agencies and the politics of agencification in Hungary, Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, Fall 2011 pp. 74-92
  6. Hajnal, György (2011): Adminisztratív politika a 2000-es évtizedben: Az ügynökség típusú államigazgatási szervek strukturális dinamikája 2002 és 2009 között (“Administrative policy in the 2000s in Hungary: The structural dynamics of central government agencies between 2002 and 2009”), Politikatudományi Szemle 20:3 pp. 54-74
  7. Randma-Liiv, Tiina, Vitalis Nakrosis and György Hajnal (2011): Public sector organization in Central and Eastern Europe: From agencification to de-agencification, Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, Fall 2011 pp. 160-175
  8. Hajnal, György (2010): Agencies in Hungary: Uses and misuses of a concept, In: Laegreid, Per and Koen Verhoest (eds): Governance of public sector organizations. Autonomy, control and performance, Houndmills / New York: Palgrave Macmillan
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