The EPSA Experience: “Showcasing and Rewarding European Public Excellence”
The EPSA 2011 rewarded the best, most innovative and efficient good practices on the occasion of a three-day high-level Final Event that was held in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from 15 until 17 November 2011.
On the first day, Tuesday 15 November in the afternoon, a workshop on ESF Support to administrative capacity building in the European Union took place at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht. This workshop was convened by the ESF Coordination Unit, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, European Commission.
In the evening of the first day, Best Practice Certificates were handed over to 43 recipients (excluding the group of 15 nominees which were rewarded on 17 November). The Mayor of Maastricht, Onno Hoes, endorsed the success of EPSA 2011 and was honoured to receive so many representatives from European public administrations to Maastricht. Therefore the Mayor hosted a reception / walking dinner at the Maastricht Town Hall in the evening of 15 November 2011. Here we celebrated the first recognitions from the EPSA 2011 out of the hands of the Mayor of Maastricht, EIPA’s Director-General, Prof. Dr Marga Pröhl, and the EPSA Manager, Alexander Heichlinger.
The second day, Wednesday 16 November, 3 thematic workshops on leading-edge public administration solutions revolving around the 3 EPSA 2011 themes took place at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) when the 15 nominees presented their respective projects, building up the tension for the next day. This was a direct step for the further development of the EPSA 2011 learning platform and best practice exchange community - Showcasing and ‘learning’ from European Public Excellence. The workshops were preceded by a plenary session in the morning in the presence of the Chairman of EIPA’s Board of Governor, Mr Henning Christophersen, former Vice-President of the European Commission. Then, in the evening, a joint dinner was offered at a historic location close to Maastricht, i.e. Château Neercanne, where the guests had their aperitif in the caves of Neercanne while listening to a key note address by Henning Christophersen followed by a message read by Mr Wojciech Zielinski, Deputy Director, Chancellery of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Department of Civil Service, on behalf of Minister Slawomir Brodzinski, Head of the Civil Service. There they also had the opportunity to see on the caves’ marl wall the signatures of the Heads of State and Government on the occasion of the 2nd European Council held in Maastricht on 9 and 10 December 1991 that paved the way for the Treaty of Maastricht.
And, the climax of the whole final event was the ceremony that took place on Thursday 17 November from 09.00 hrs until 14.00 hrs at the Provincial Government Buildings on the Meuse where the Treaty of Maastricht was signed. The premises and hospitality were offered by the Queen’s Commissioner of the Province of Limburg. The ceremony contained a plenary session with welcome speeches by Theo Bovens, Governor and Queen's Commissioner for the Province of Limburg; and Marga Pröhl, Director-General of the European Institute of Public Administration. The welcome was followed by keynote speeches delivered by EC Vice-President Sevcovic (through a video message); Viktorija Šmatko, Principal Adviser, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission; Beate Lohmann, Head of DG Administrative Modernisation, German Federal Ministry of the Interior; and Bernard Bot, Former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs.
After the coffee break, the most expected and desired part took place: a 1.5 hour festive award ceremony where the winner per category received the beautiful and prestigious trophy and got optimal attention for their project. During the ensuing joint lunch everybody could share his/her delight .
The whole Final event was co-financed by the European Commission, the City of Maastricht and the Province of Limburg, as well as sponsored by the 11 official European partner countries.
Detailed Agenda Map of Maastricht
Participation to this event was only upon official invitation from the EPSA Team.
Get an impression of Maastricht, the beautiful gastronomical city in the South of the province of Limburg and the city where the Treaty of Maastricht was signed. Check out the main venues of this event at:
Province of Limburg: http://www.limburg.nl/index.jsp
City of Maastricht: www.vvvmaastricht.nl/
Château Neercanne: http://www.vvvmaastricht.nl/restaurants/chteau_neercanne.html
Maastricht Municipality: http://www.maastricht.nl
European Institute of Public Administration: www.eipa.eu