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There is an absence of commonly agreed definitions of key concepts such as public sector, public services and public administration, not to mention ‘central’ public administration. This absence is problematic when comparing several institutions, or even when addressing different issues within one organisation. The aim of this paper is to deliver a working definition of central public administration (CPA).
Germany is a federal country made up of 16 federal states (Länder) and the federation (Bund). The Länder are states with sovereign rights and responsibilities that are not devolved from the federation, but are granted to them by the Basic Law. Each state has its own government, parliament, courts and legislative as well as executive powers. Therefore, power is divided between the federation and the states according to tasks and functions. As a rule, the Basic Law stipulates that the exercise of state powers is a matter for the federal states. Read more information on Central public administration.
The total number of people employed in the public sector grew from around 317,000 in 2001 to 360,000 in 2008, a growth of 14%. Excluding commercial state-sponsored bodies, the numbers employed in the public service grew from 270,000 in 2000 to 320,000 in 2008, a growth of 19%. Since the financial recession, however, there has been a significant drop in the numbers employed in both the public sector and public service from 2008, with a drop of just under 6% in each case. Numbers employed in the public sector and public service in 2011 were just below 2007 levels of employment. Read more information on Central public administration.
Finland is a unitary state where the highest organs of government are the parliament, the president and the government. The Finnish public administration has two tiers: the state administration and the self-governing municipalities. The state administration operates on all three administrative levels (national or central, regional and local administration level), with the national level being the major area of operation. The municipal administration operates on regional and local levels. Since the majority of the municipalities are rather small (half of them have fewer than 5,000 inhabitants), the most demanding tasks, such as specialised healthcare, are provided through cooperative arrangements. Read more information on Central public administration.
Luxembourg, with a population of 502,066 in 2010, is a unitary state with two layers of government: the dominant central government and the municipalities, or communes. The state is characterised by a highly centralised administrative structure in that all legislative powers are concentrated at central level. The 106 municipalities are the only example of decentralisation. The centralised nature of the administrative structure is also underlined by the fact that the management of all the Luxembourgish public employees is the responsibility of the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reform (Ministère de la Fonction publique et de la Réforme administrative), which is in charge of the development and implementation of civil service laws, on the one hand, and the modernisation of personnel and organisational management, on the other. As a state employer, this ministry negotiates with the trade unions on all questions related to remuneration of all public employees in the public sector. Read more information on Central public administration.
During the last few decades, public administration workers have been subject to a number of structural, modernising reforms, in a framework often designated as ‘new public management’. The current economic and financial crisis has also meant that the steep rise in public debt has prompted many authorities to try to reduce public expenditure by introducing freezes and reductions in pay and employment for civil servants. This report sets out to provide an overview of the main causes and reasons for change in central public administration in the European member states plus Norway. It also looks at the impact these changes have had on the sector's working conditions, as well as exploring how this situation is expected to evolve.
In October 2013, a high-profile industrial dispute affected the Grangemouth
oil refinery and petrochemicals plant in Scotland, which is owned by the
Swiss-based company, Ineos . The site employs 1,370 permanent workers and
2,000 contractors and is of considerable importance to the UK’s energy
network. The dispute was notable for its political and energy policy
dimensions, as well as the controversial tactics used by both the company and
the union involved, Unite .
In August 2013, the social partners concluded a long-term national
centralised labour market settlement. The Pact for Employment and Growth
(23.8KB PDF)  envisages that pay increases will be made in two instalments
over the next two years. The first increase of €20 per month (or a
corresponding increase in hourly rates according to industry custom and
practice) will be paid in the first year of the agreement. The second
increase, a year later, will bring the total increase to 0.4% across the
board. The social partners will reconvene in the summer of 2015 to decide
whether the agreement should be continued for a third year.
A report published on 22 October 2013 by the Trades Union Congress (TUC )
makes the case for a stronger voice for workers in corporate governance
structures, including ‘a mandatory system for the representation of workers
on company boards’.
In Slovakia, benefits for those ‘in material need’ are provided to
citizens who do not have enough income. This benefit is secured by the
Constitution and several hundred thousand people, including children, are
long-term recipients of this benefit. In 2012, 6.6% of the population were
living on this benefit. However, in southern and eastern regions, where
approximately 40% of the country’s most economically-deprived people are
living, the proportion of recipients was 11%. The benefit is not very
generous and figures from the Mutual Information System on Social Protection
(MISSOC ) show that in 2013 it was a maximum €398.14 for a household of
two adults with no other income, living with two children (aged 5 and 10
years) in a three-bedroom apartment.