Conference on Understanding Public Bureaucracy


The National University of Public Service held a two days conference to review ideas and experiences connected with the concept of public bureaucracy, as applied public governance and public administration in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

The conference was opened by Dr. habil. Györgyi Nyikos who welcomed the renowned international guests of the event and wished a successful discussion to the participants. The Vice-Rector for International Affairs also talked about the history of Ludovika, the structure of NUPS and the missions of the university. She highlighted that the aim of the university, among others, is to promote the cooperation between public and private actors and to continuously conduct researches on today’s current issues.

Elena Kireeva from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) talked about the concept of good governance in jurisprudence through the Russian experience and practice. According to the expert, the concept of good governance is a key factor in decreasing bureaucracy. She also elaborated the ongoing developments in the Russian public administration such as the administrative websites and multifunctional customer service centers which helped to decrease the waiting time.

Prof. Dr. Norbert Kis presented the future scenarios of public bureaucracies. The dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and Public Administration of NUPS quoted the famous Danish physicist during his presentation. “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” The dean explained the post-bureaucratic era and the term of dataism. The latter determines all the processes, including those related to public administration, only as a set of data for analysis. While closing his session, Norbert Kis described bureaucracy as a wall between the citizens and public servants which can be dismantled by reducing the bureaucracy. The Good Governance report prepared by NUPS serves this purpose as well.

Juraj Vačok, representative of the Comenius University, Slovakia reviewed the new legal regulation of administrative justice in the Slovak Republic, focusing mainly on the changes and processes from the past two years. After this section, Piotr Buława staff of the University of Silesia, Poland described the participation of tax authorities in insolvency  agreements. According to the specialist the public administration system in Poland is too bureaucratic and less flexible while on the other hand, the German system is a good example because the state income is allocated based on the ressources used on collection and they have a long-term plan, unlike in Eastern Europe.

The other presenters of the morning session were Wojciech Piątek from the Polish Adam Mickiewicz University, Krisztina Rozsnyai from the Eötvös Loránd University, Anna Románová from the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University and Matej Horvat from the Comenius University. The guests discussed topics such as judicial review, digitalisation in public administration and the 50th anniversary of the Slovak public administration law. The audience learned that public administration law of Hungary’s northern neighbour is a very successful law of its kind because it has already complied with the good governance principles at the time of its adoption. Since 1993 it was rectified a few times, but it still defines the same basics thus it stood the test of time.

During the afternoon, Dr. habil. Györgyi Nyikos also held a presentation. The Vice-Rector for International Affairs of NUPS talked to the audience about the economic effects of the public sources. On the second day of the conference panel discussions were organized where László Vértesy, Gábor Hulkó from NUPS and the experts from the Charles University, Czech Republic and from the Masaryk University, Czech Republic discussed selected issues of financial law and the current legal challenges.