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Abstract

The article examines the section of officials in the central administration who belong to the ministerial staff of the Czech Republic. It examines those persons engaged in the creation of analyses, strategies, and management activities. The study is based on original research conducted by the ministries of the Czech Republic in 2013 (N = 1351). The article seeks to discover what the make-up of this group is in terms of gender, age, and education levels at the chosen ministries, as well as to report on the types of experiences the group has had. The analysis shows that ministerial officials are in fact a gender-balanced group of employees, predominately university-educated. The overall median age of employees in all ministries is 42 years. On the other hand, there are certain inter-ministerial differences, as explained in detail in this paper. Based on results of the empirical research, conclusions have been drawn that may also serve as an inspiration for similar investigations in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe that address similar issues as found in the Czech Republic.

Abstract

The growing youth unemployment across Europe raises the need to take appropriate measures. One of steps taken towards decreasing it by the European Union has been the program Youth Guarantee, implemented by a number of member states. Despite the relatively lower youth unemployment, the Czech Republic has implemented this program as well, and supported the realization of the project Internships for Young Job Seekers, whose aim was to ease the transition for students from schools to the labour market thanks to internships in companies. The effects which internship related project bring for their participants have been evaluated in other EU countries, mainly in Germany, but also in Sweden or France. However, evidence about internships’ effectiveness has been missing for the Czech Republic, and this paper fills this existing knowledge gap with the use of counterfactual impact evaluation methods. In the paper, we have focused on examining the impacts of internships on personal income and economic status of trainees by using the propensity score matching, difference-in-differences estimation and two complementary methods – ordinary least squares and multinomial logit. The results confirmed a positive impact of internships on treated project participants regarding both outcome variables, and thus, are consistent with the majority of literature in the field.

Abstract

Mandatory pension systems occupy a central role in the system of social security because of the share of social expenditure in national economies. One of the goals of pension system is to redistribute incomes among individuals. However, it is not clear how the intentions to redistribute incomes coincide with the outcomes. In this paper, we will study the difference between the intentions as they are articulated within institutions, with the outcomes that are generated by them. We use the method of comparative institutional analysis in order to find out the differences. Our comparative institutional analysis is based on the grammar of institutions that is proposed by Crawford and Ostrom. Also, in order to understand the differences, we will compare the institutions in relatively similar cases – the Baltic States. The results show that there is a gap between the intentions and outcomes to redistribute incomes among individuals. The findings from the comparative institutional analysis suggest that the most redistributive old age pension system is in Estonia. However, according to the factual information from Eurostat, the greatest distributive effect is produced by the mandatory pension system of Lithuania.

Abstract

The article discusses the envisaged outcomes of internationalisation policy of higher education in the context of the European Higher Education Area, and the effect of internationalisation policy on quality in higher education. In Lithuania, internationalisation of higher education is supported by large amounts of public finance, in the hope that internationalisation will provide added value to the quality of higher education. However, there are no tools for collecting evidence of whether that investment is properly used. The research question of the study is how the internationalisation policy impact on quality in higher education and its influence on wider society may be measured in a particular national context. The article presents exploratory research findings based on an extensive literature review and views of policymakers, higher education administrators and academics evaluated as a set of indicators and criteria to be used in assessing the impact of internationalisation policy on quality in higher education and its influence on wider society.

Abstract

The article analyses the problems of strategic governance and strategic management of the Czechoslovak Government, as well as the Government of the Czech Republic in the years 1989-2016. It seeks the causes and factors that have caused the low levels of strategic governance and strategic management at the level of the ministries of the Czech Republic. It examines the problem from genetic and historical perspective, and from the organizational and human capacity to exercise strategic governance. The study is based on two pieces of empirical research within the ministries of the Czech Republic. It identifies the main cause of failure of strategic governance and strategic management at the level of the central government of the Czech Republic. These include, in particular, the persistent distrust of the ideas of strategic governance and strategic management held by the right-wing governments and the generally low capacity of governments of the Czech Republic to engage in strategic governance. The organizational structure of the central state administration lacks the strategic units that generate ideas for supporting strategic governance. The empirical research of the ministries of the Czech Republic also revealed that policy workers in Czech ministries dedicate a large proportion of their work time to operational and administrative activities at the expense of analytical and strategic activities. The changes require implementation of reforms within the public administration, which (among other things) will eliminate the existing causes and inhibiting factors regarding the lack of strategic governance in the Czech Republic.

Abstract

The article aims to describe the key events in the development of mental health care policies after 1990 in the two countries and identify the main reasons for stagnation or incremental changes to the institutional setting in the field of mental health care. The process of mental health care reform is explained using the framework of historical institutionalism. The explanation shows that the lack of political interest in combination with the tradition of institutional care resulted in poor availability of psychiatric care, outdated network of inpatient facilities and critical lack of community care facilities in both countries. Even though Slovak Republic adopted national programme at the governmental level, it still struggles with its implementation. The ongoing reform attempt in the Czech Republic may bring some change, thanks to a new approach towards strategic governance of the mental health care system and the mechanism of layering that the promoters of the reform use.

Abstract

The topic of competitiveness is becoming increasingly significant in the context of modern economics. Considering intensive processes of globalisation alongside with competitive pressure amongst the countries, competitiveness has become a necessary condition for successful economic and social development of any country. Only by creating, enforcing and maintaining international competitiveness of the country, rapid economic growth during the long term is achievable. Amongst the other urgent issues, the European Union (further the EU) public policies are also focused on competitiveness. After the failure to implement the Lisbon strategy and become “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy”, the EU declared its new competitiveness aims in the long-term strategy Europe 2020. Promotion of competitiveness is one of the fundamental aims and priority directions of the EU structural policy. The EU structural support is engaged as one of the public policy measures to promote the competitiveness of the member-states. In this context, it is purposeful to research whether the structural support is used efficiently and whether it actually contributes to the implementation of the defined aims. Under the order of various Lithuanian institutions, numerous studies on the efficiency of the EU structural support have been carried out. Nevertheless, by analysing the impact of the EU structural support, insufficient attention has been paid to the aspect of competitiveness. Considering the fact that Lithuania has entered the third programming period 2014-2020, evaluation of the EU structural investment in the country has become even more topical - for successful implementation of the aims raised for this new period, the analysis of the previous results is relevant. This determined formulation of the research problem: what impact does the EU structural support have on the competitiveness of Lithuanian economics? The empirical research has revealed that the EU structural support has a positive impact on Lithuanian gross domestic product growth, promotes foreign direct investment, research and development expenditure and increases the number of operating entities during 2004-2014 period.

Abstract

Distribution of resources is at the core of politics. Although this activity is primarily economic in nature, the existing research shows that political representatives often use the allocation of public money to reward their allies at the expense of their rivals. This paper analyses a 2015 governmental programme of local sport grants in Slovakia that aimed to build sport facilities for children and young people. In order to avoid any political bias, the programme was established as a neutral mechanism with an anonymous evaluation of grant requests. The results of analysis, however, provide substantial evidence that the subsidies were given primarily to towns with closer political ties to the government while municipalities led by mayors from the opposition were nearly fully ignored. In addition, the presented social and economic aims of the funding programme were not effectively pursued. The paper thus represents a valuable contribution to the discussion of distributive politics, in general, as it shows that, despite the respective legal framework, the allocation of resources may still end up as a process fuelled by partisan interests.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine regulatory agencies and regulated parties in an empirical study of administrative disputes initiated against the decisions of regulatory agencies in Croatia. We first aim to provide an overview of the status and trend estimates regarding these disputes; second, to answer the question how well does the system work from the perspectives of both the plaintiffs and the regulatory agencies; third, to identify the problem areas and to compare these with problem areas identified by the authors studying the broader area of administrative judiciary in Croatia, and finally to compare efficiency level of regulatory agencies to other public authorities in confirming the legality of their decisions and actions. Data on all administrative disputes against 12 Croatian regulatory agencies’ decisions in the 17-year period between 1995 and 2011 are used to identify the main characteristics and trends relating to these disputes. Data for 2012 to 2013 was also examined to identify initial changes and emerging trends in the new administrative judiciary system resulting from fundamental legal reform as part of Croatia’s process of accession to the European Union in 2013. The results show these administrative disputes to be often costly and timely with modest outcome for the plaintiff and impressive success rate for the most of regulatory agencies.