Dear members of EGPA and of our PA community.
EGPA celebrates this year, in 2010, its 35 years as a distinct European PA community within IIAS which celebrated its 80th anniversary.EGPA shifted from a platform to an organisation, from a yearly conference to a permanent community with activities, and from a meeting place to also an infrastructure with databases. Our ambition is to strengthen PA in Europe, and to emphasise the European voices in a globalised world. This is not something which happens automatically. It needs to be organised, it requires people and resources, it implies a strategy. During the last decade, we have been growing in numbers (members, papers, participants), we became more academic (quality control of conferences), and we became younger (more young PhD participation).This year we celebrate in Toulouse, during our yearly conference, the living community of PA in Europe. We will launch a future’s group on PA in Europe. The key question is not just what EGPA can and may do for its community, but even more how this community should further develop, and how we can and may continue to develop it, through EGPA. For this reason, EGPA wants also to be hospitable to its partners. Even if there are different organisations for different purposes, it is important that we gather, exchange, share, collaborate, dialogue. This is one of EGPA’s objectives to welcome other partners in our shared and common understandings of the field of Public Administration.We have published a book on the occasion of our 35 years. I am particularly proud that we have a nice overview of the diversity of our community, the different dimensions of teaching and researching in PA, and the intellectual ambitions in our Permanent Study Groups. This book aims not to be a historical overview of the past, but to touch upon the present to define the future of PA in Europe. PA in Europe is heavily influenced by the languages (22 non-English official languages in the EU), by the historical perspective of our experiences, and by the diversity of our politico-administrative models. This wealth of experiences should be shared within Europe, and through dialogue, with the rest of the world. It is our assignment for the next 35 years.
I would like to thank all those that have contributed to EGPA’s success, and I invite you to continue to strengthen our PA community in Europe, for the sake of the public sector, and for the sake of Europe.
Professor dr. Geert Bouckaert, EGPA President (2004-2010)