Last week (October 27-28) I represented our Ministry's Training Bureau in the Second Meeting of the EMPTA Network - the network of representatives from Public Administration Instituitions in the Euro-Mediterranean area. The conference was held in the Scuola Superiore della Pubblica Amministrazione, Rome http://www.sspa.it/ (below see a symbol of the school).
The conference was a real success. First of all, the fact that the representatives coming from countries which don't have diplomatic relations, sit around the table and talk to each other - is an achievement in itself. There were no discussions of political situation - just the dialogue about the issues important to all of us - in Israel, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, and of course our European neighbours.
We were discussing the skills and competencies that are necessary for all public servants in our area. Despite the differences in our cultures, in our backgrounds and our political systems - the conclusion was that we have many things in common, and we could share our knowledge to help each other to define best training practices for the public servants. The description of the conference is here http://www.sspa.it/index.php?mod=pagina&id=1717,
and its program here: http://www.sspa.it/share/pagine/1717/EN-Programme%20Euromed_26_10_09.pdf
The EMPTA network has been launched 5 years ago, and succeeded in creating commitment among its members to work towards defining contents of a common training pathway for civil servants. Moreover, the network members expressed their interest in creating training course for senior civil servants. The special Scientific Committee meeting was held at the end of the conference to discuss the program of the training seminar for public servants from EuroMed area.
The central point in the presentation I've made during the Roundtable "Common Elements for leadership training in the Euro-Mediterranean area" was the digital aspect of the public servant competencies. One of my proposals dealt with creating social network for the members of the EMPTA network. In the working group of the conference I reiterated this idea, stressing the importance of the Web 2.0 outreach by public administration to the young generation. It was nice to hear that other participants in the conference expressed their support of this idea.
No doubt, there is a lot of work ahead of the EMPTA network. The cultural, institutional and language difference make the dialogue more difficult. The political situation in the area is volatile, and as one of the european participants put it: "We must be very realistic about what we could and what we couldn't achieve. It's still unrealistic to see the exchange of public servants between Israel and many of its arab neighbours".
However, we must be optimistic and do what we can. We should show good examples of the regional cooperation: those that already accomplished thier goals, and those that are to be implemented. We should feature the positive examples, and there is nothing wrong about it. For too long time, too many people were focusing on bad experiences...
The conference was a success thanks to a wonderful organizational work done by SSPA and EIPA. The director of SSPA, Valeria Termini, director of International Relations Office, Stefano Pizzicannella, Sarlo Santoro and Dominique Bourdenet from SSPA, Javier Cano, Stephanie Horel and Monica Casares from EIPA - Thank you all!
And of course, last but not least, another reason for the conference success - the city of Rome itself... The weather, the food, the athmosphere...
Here are some pictures from the conference:
with Valeria Termini, Director of SSPA
with Hans Kunsmann, Director for European Affairs in BAKOV