Industrial Relations in the New Europe

Industrial Relations in the New Europe

Enlargement, Integration and Reform

Edited by Peter Leisink, Bram Stejin and Ulke Veersma

This book presents an evidence-based assessment of the impact of EU enlargement on industrial relations and social standards in old and new EU Member States. It combines chapters which give an overview of the process of enlargement/integration and comparative socio-economic data at EU and national level, with chapters that present an in-depth analysis of the impact of European integration on national industrial relations. These in-depth analyses cover both a number of old EU Member States in Western Europe and new Member States in Central and Eastern Europe. The book combines supranational European, Western and Eastern perspectives on the impact of European integration.

Chapter 11: Staff Participation in the Administrative Reform of the Flemish Community

Christophe Pelgrims, Trui Steen and Nick Thijs

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, social policy and sociology, labour policy


Christophe Pelgrims, Trui Steen and Nick Thijs 1 INTRODUCTION Administrative reforms are introduced in a range of public services across Europe (Pollitt and Bouckaert 2004). This tendency to reform is also present in the Flemish Community, one of the regional entities in Belgium.2 In 1999 the Flemish government launched a new reform project called ‘Beter Bestuurlijk Beleid’ (‘Better Administrative Policy’). This project aims at a reorganization of the core civil service – the Ministry of the Flemish Community – the agencies or ‘Flemish Public Institutions’ and the advisory boards. In this chapter we examine the extent to which staff has been able to participate, either directly of indirectly – via trade union representation – in this reform. First we define staff and their unions as major stakeholders in public management reform. After describing the context and content of the reforms in the Flemish Community, we look at the different forms of participation which can be distinguished in the reform and examine the effect of this participation on the process and content of reform. Finally, we try to establish whether reform, in turn, had lasting effects on staff participation and social dialogue in the public sector in Flanders. STAFF AND UNIONS AS STAKEHOLDERS When analysing staff participation, the scale of the reform prove to be an important variable (Halligan 2001). Comprehensive reforms introduce a range of reforms that affect most aspects of the public sector. These reforms may consist of different specialized and sectoral reforms. Comprehensive reforms typically start from a well-developed framework for action,...

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