Thematic policy conference within the project "Co-operation between Public Administration in Cross-Border regions of Croatia and Hungary for Serving Citizens Better (CATCH)"

The Government Office of Somogy County in partnership with the State Administration Offices in Osijek-Baranja County and in Medimurje County has received grant support from the European Regional Development Fund, INTERREG V-A Hungary-Croatia Cooperation Program with the aim of developing cross-border relations in public administrative affairs. The project is implemented with the professional support of the Prime Minister’s Office in Hungary, State Secretariat for Territorial Public Administration and with that of the Croatian Ministry of Public Administration.

The project’s primary goal is to exchange experience and expertise in the development of public administration, as well as to develop administrative procedures and services across borders.

As part of the project, a professional conference was organised by the Government Office of Somogy County on 23 November 2017 focusing on the topics of one-stop customer service centres in public administration, reorganization of territorial public administration and the development of electronic administration. Through the presentations and workshops participants were able to learn good practices from the partner countries which can provide an inspiration in their work. Further to the exchange of professional experience, the conference also offered an occasion to discuss further development and cooperation opportunities across the borders and deepen professional relations as well.

The event commenced with the presentation of Government Commissioner Mr. Zsolt Neszményi, discussing the practical experiences of the reorganization of territorial public administration in Hungary. Deputy State-secretary Ms. Viktória Zöld-Nagy on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office shared the experiences of the evolution and operation of one-stop customer centres, the so-called “government windows” in Hungary. The successes and lessons of the development of electronic administration in Croatia, manifest in the e-Citizen portal, was presented by Mr. Tomislav Micetic, chief advisor of the Ministry of Public Administration. Ms. Andreja Bakula, the head of the Croatian Public Human Resource Management Service presented the Croatian public administration system’s organisational structure and its development path and objectives. The all-day event was attended by Ms. Katica Prpic, State secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, who also greeted the participants and highlighted the excellent opportunity the conference offered for fostering professional co-operation and by Mr. Nobert Bíró, the president of the Council of Somogy County.

The conference proved to be an excellent place for mutual discussion between the two countries’ experts focusing on one-stop customer centres, online administration, and the reorganization and digitalization of administrative procedures, which will be followed by further 9-monts of joint work with the objective of improving the opportunities of citizens in the border areas.