The International Public Service Day is held under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) every year on June 23. On the occasion of this year’s edition, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “All countries and all people need a public service that is competent, equipped and well-resourced. Public service needs to be diverse and ethical. It needs to be dedicated to effectively serving people and improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable.”
CESI, too, wishes to recall and emphasise the paramount importance of accessible, affordable and qualitative public services to fulfill and respect human rights.
CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “Public services provide for the necessary conditions for growth, employment and investment and thereby guarantee inclusive, sustainable and democratic societies. But for efficient administrations, sufficient qualified and motivated staff is essential! However, despite the current crises actually requiring even more resources, public services have, during the last years, continued to suffer from significant budget and personnel cuts and trends towards low pay and poor working conditions. This makes their mission to provide effective services of general interest for the citizens difficult.”
He added: “Over the last years austerity and privatisation measures have proven harmful for social cohesion and social justice. Moreover, tax evasion and tax fraud have deprived governments from tremendous but essential resources. It is more than ever urgent to ensure that firms pay their fair share of tax and that states start investing in publicly owned public services again.”
One June 23, CESI’s Presidium adopted an appeal to the EU institutions on the functioning of public administrations in Europe. This appeal calls
- to consider safeguarding the proper functioning of public administrations as a priority objective, not subordinate to any other principle;
- to be clear that in public balances there must not be spending cuts which may put at risk the performance of public administrations;
- to encourage Member States more systematically to ensure adequate wages for public sector workers.
The full appeal can be accessed here (in English language). For other language versions, please see the policy positions section of CESI’s website.