World Public Service Day – Public Service is Work

The UN General Assembly has designated 23 June as Public Service Day. Prestigious UN Public Service Awards are given away on this very day. This award is bestowed on Public Service Day for contributions made to the cause of enhancing the role, prestige and visibility of public services.

For CESI this day is an opportunity to celebrate the values and virtues of public service to the community, but also to highlight the contribution of public services, recognise the work of public servants and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector. Furthermore, CESI believes this day is significant to highlight services of public services as essential to guarantee citizens’ fundamental rights. They set the frame for democracy, non-discrimination and the rule of law.

Since decades public services have been hit hard by the financial and economic crisis. With significant budget and personnel cuts, the capacity of public services to fulfil their general interest mission has been profoundly affected.

The acute refugee crisis has added additional pressure to local, regional and central administrations that were already understaffed and underfinanced. It is therefore more than crucial to revalorise and recognise the importance of such work, but also vital to put into place policies that protect and allow public services to develop and maintain their level of quality.

It must be pointed out that guaranteeing the cohesion of societies and catering to public interest are of fundamental importance. The safeguarding of a proper functioning of public administrations must thus be an objective priority that cannot be subordinate to any other principle, especially not to purely economic considerations.

Above all, CESI believes it is more than crucial to drive a political change of paradigm, in order to finally view public services as an investment in people rather than as a cost to society. The World Public Service Day is a step toward this societal transformation.

Picture: Public services image © 2018