The event saw speakers from across the political spectrum, with vast experience in public administration, come together to discuss the challenges facing public services in Spain today. The event was opened by CSI-F President Miguel Borra, with a key note speech being delivered by Spanish Secretary of State for Public Administration, Antonio Beteta .
CESI President Romain Wolff, delivering his contributions in Spanish, underlined the crucial role of public services, above all in times of economic crisis, as an economic stabiliser and as a major economic player in society. The short-termism of governments was particularly denounced, with the first reaction when charged with reducing debts being to cut jobs. The long-term consequences must be more carefully considered.
For Mr Wolff, perceptions of public services have to change: “Far too often public services, and by association those who provide them, are seen simply as a cost. In fact, citizens benefit economically and socially from public services. For CESI, they are important part of the solution, a means of investing in the future.”
The impact on young people can also be very damaging, with people leaving their countries in search of work, leading to the so-called “brain-drain” effect. This may have very negative consequences on countries when there is a return to growth. The full growth potential may not be achieved as countries lack the necessary skills and competences. Youth employment issues are currently at the top of the EU agenda but with limited and weak conclusions being produced.