EU Impact on Public Management Reform beyond Member States

In this study, Åse Gornitzka and collaborators analyze the impact of the Tempus programme, a core neighborhood policy instrument of the EU to promote public management reforms, in the Western Balkans.


In pursuit of the EU’s agenda to promote public sector reform in countries beyond the member states, the EU has relied on softer instruments to induce domestic reforms through technical and financial support. The impact and durability of such measures are contested and the research findings are mixed. This article examines the Tempus program, a core neighborhood policy instrument the EU has used to promote public management reforms. Tempus is the oldest and most dominant instrument to modernize higher education in central and east European countries. It promotes the adoption of key managerial reforms elements. Drawing of these perspectives on policy diffusion, we analyze the relative impact of the program. Based on data from over 50 Western Balkan universities, we compare institutions deeply involved in the Tempus program and those minimally involved or non-affiliated with Tempus. Results show that Tempus projects had minimal direct effects in terms on adoption of public management reforms in the region.

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Antigoni Papadimitriou, Åse Gornitzka and Bjørn Stensaker
Designed Diffusion? The Impact of an EU Instrument for Public Management Reform in the Western Balkans

Journal of European Integration, Volume 37, 2015 - Issue 6, Pages 629-647
DOI: 10.1080/07036337.2015.1046857

Published June 12, 2015 2:29 PM - Last modified Nov. 21, 2016 8:38 AM