The European continent faces an apocalyptic pandemic that poses mortal danger to millions of citizens. This paper seeks to address the role played by European public policy in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, each Member State across Europe is applying its own measures to deal with the coronavirus; namely, decentralised decision-making that could trigger political tensions among the states. The paper argues that European public policy must change rapidly and fundamentally if these tensions are to be successfully managed; otherwise, such policy might simply cease to exist. Moreover, the known and notorious problem of collective action, information asymmetries, irrationality, negative externalities and the related free-riding phenomenon persistently are distorting the Member States’ combined efforts, resulting in deficient attempts to contain the spread of Covid-19. The paper also argues that the current unprecedented outbreak of this superspreading virus calls for a bigger EU-wide coordinated response. We argue that the Covid-19 pandemic is a good example of an area in which the central EU level holds a comparative advantage over lower levels of government. In addition, the paper offers several substantive insights into ways to improve the public policy response in the ‘war’ against Covid-19.
The active ageing policy supports several types of activities, including labour force participation, caregiving, social participation, and physical activity. The paper illustrates the prevalence of supported activities across individual characteristics and four supra-national European regions to assess how these activities are available for specific groups of older people. The analysis draws on wave 6 from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe held in 2015. A set of figures describes the availability of activities sorted by gender, age, health status, and the level of education in 17 European countries divided into four regions, and thus, presents the unavailable descriptive data important for researchers and policymakers. The results most of all show that the majority of the 50+ population engages in vigorous physical activity, whilst labour force participation and caregiving concern about one-third of it, and other activities much less. The findings show the inadequacy of the active ageing as a uniform context-insensitive EU policy and detect its potential for raising inequalities in later life, whilst the theoretical implications are discussed.
A democratic government should adhere to firm public administration principles, legal instruments, structures and mechanisms. However, providing these elements is insufficient to guarantee integrated participative service delivery. This article aims to unravel the most important elements required to create a participative governance model that fuses horizontal intra-relationships between public officials and departments and vertical interactions between public and private networks. The research methodology entailed a critical desktop document analysis of books, articles, regulatory policy and strategy documents. Network governance was conceptually and contextually analysed through unobtrusive research methods. It served as a possible analytical model for democratic governance, where citizens take centre stage in participative decision-making. The findings provide both a description and a contextualisation of the themes that emerged from the research. The article highlights that the network governance model could help South Africa move forward from a dated, elitist democracy based on a dependency model, to a participative democracy model, where communities and government work together. The article concludes that South Africa can only realise the National Development Plans (NDPs) 2030 goals (to maximise people's development, strengthen governance networks and enhance state's capacity to provide adequate public services) by drawing on partnerships within a network governance framework.
At a time when governments are grappling with increasingly complex problems, state-led participatory processes that facilitate citizen and community voice in decision-making and policymaking have become more common at national, regional and local government levels. In Ireland, citizen participation in government has achieved prominence in the last thirty years with the introduction of social partnership and more recent establishment of multiple and diverse forms of participatory governance, nationally, regionally and locally. This paper offers a critique of the evolution and operation of local participatory governance in Ireland. The paper argues that to be effective, participatory governance requires strong and inclusive participatory processes at all levels of government, a clear ideological and policy basis, a coherent ‘joined-up’ programme and receptive institutional foundations.