Towards a Neo-Weberian European Union? Lisbon Agenda and Public Administration

Wolfgang Drechsler

Abstract


This essay analyzes the role of Public Administration (PA) within the Lisbon Agenda (LA), both on the EU and the Member States’ level and as concerns both the administration of the LA and general PA. It argues that overall, PA has been neglected or reduced to policy, finance, and a simple strife for ‘modernization’ and ‘innovation’ in the LA and the surrounding discourse until very recently, which is all the worse because without high-quality PA, the success of the LA is impossible. The essay suggests that, when PA reforms are discussed, they generally follow the old-fashioned approach of the New Public Management, which by now has proven to be a failure. It is argued that, rather, a successful PA strategy for the LA has to heed the principles of the Neo-Weberian State, which in addition to everything else is particularly appropriate for any innovation-based development agenda.

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