SIGMA Papers

SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management) is a joint initiative of the OECD and the EU, principally financed by the EU. SIGMA Papers is a series of specialised reports that are focused on particular issues in governance and management, such as expenditure control, administrative oversight, interministerial co-ordination, public procurement and public service management.

Available in French (see link below) and other languages.

English Also available in: French

Civil Service Professionalisation in the Western Balkans

This report examines the professionalisation of the civil service in seven Western Balkan states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. In the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the civil service is analysed separately for the state level (henceforth BiH), the Federation level (FBiH) and the Republika Srpska (henceforth RS).

The report builds on SIGMA Paper No. 44 (2009), which assessed the sustainability of civil service reforms in the new EU member states of Central and Eastern Europe after their accession to the European Union (henceforth EU) in 2004. SIGMA Paper No. 44 found that Central and Eastern European states had made significant progress towards the establishment of professional and impartial civil service systems before joining the EU. Yet after accession only a minority of countries, namely the Baltic States, continued to invest in the professionalisation of the civil service.

Accordingly, the paper examines, first, the degree to which civil service systems ‘fit’ the European principles of administration and, second, the drivers of civil service professionalisation, in order to gain insights with regard to the sustainability of reforms in the Western Balkans.


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