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European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht

The European Institute of Public Administration is an international institute supported by and governed by the national administrations of the Member States of the European Union (EU) and the European Commission. The objectives of the Institute, as laid down in its statutes, are to "provide civil servants and other interested parties with training courses of a European character relating to public administration in the European Union and the collection and development of knowledge regarding public administration in the European Union or in relation to it." Thus, the Institute is dedicated to supporting the management of European integration through the provision of European-level training, applied research and consultancy, as a complement to national and subnational programmes in the same field of expertise in public administration.

The Institute was established in Maastricht in 1981 on the occasion of the first Maastricht European Council, and the main seat of the Institute is still located on the historic square Onze Lieve Vrouweplein in the centre of Maastricht.

In addition to the involvement of the Member States, the Institute has signed association agreements with a number of non Member States who are interested and involved in the EU integration process (Cyprus, Hungary, Norway and Switzerland), and with a number of regional governments in Member States who participate in the work of the antenna in Barcelona.

The Institute is a non-profit organisation. It receives an annual subsidy from each of the Member States, and enjoys a budget line in the EU annual budget.

Given its mandate, EIPA has a number of characteristics which make it unique, including its European Character, Focus on Integration Issues, Comparative and Multidisciplinary Studies and Special Training Methodologies.

  • European Character

    The Institute is European in terms of its governance, mandate and scope of its work. The Institute monitors all important developments in the European Union institutions, policies and processes, and in the corresponding organisations and policies of the Member States. It is also European in that the expert staff are drawn from all Member States of the EU and from associated countries.

  • Focus on Integration Issues

The central role of the Institute relates directly to the process of European integration, and to the special demands which that causes in respect of issues of multilayer governance, international coordination and cooperation and the adaptation of national systems of governance and administration.

  • Comparative and Multi-disciplinary Studies

As a prerequisite of improved coordination and cooperation, the Institute has a special interest in the study of the various systems of administration on the EU and beyond, to improve understanding of the differences and develop new modalities of cooperation. This requires simultaneous study from a number of different disciplines and perspectives, and the Institute maintains dedicated teams of experts from the fields of Law, Economics, Political Science and Organisation and Management to undertake this work. To fulfil its mandate, the Institute must act as a bridge between theory and practice, and the full-time expert staff brings together leading academics and experienced practitioners.

  • Special Training Methodologies

The typical target group of the Institute’s training programmes comprise high level decision-makers and senior public officials drawn from the administrations of the Member States – civil servants, parliamentarians, judges, etc. – or from the European institutions. Working with this specialised, international audience requires the development of appropriate advanced training methodologies, and EIPA has unique experience in special training formats such as action-learning (the Euromanagers programme), international exchanges of officials (the Karolus programme) and the development of case studies, simulations, etc.


EIPA’s Board of Governors is composed of representatives from the governments of the EU Member States and the European Commission. The former, appointed by the Member States, are normally senior civil servants responsible for human resources management. The current Chairman of the Board is Henning Christophersen, former Vice-President of the European Commission, who is Danish. The Vice-Chairman is Carlo Trojan; he is Dutch and Secretary-General of the European Commission.

The Institute has a Scientific Council, a separate body which advises the Director-General on matters relating to scientific policy. It is composed of directors of national institutes of public administration in the Member States and prominent academics. The Council is currently chaired by Jaakko Kuusela (FIN), Managing Director of the Finnish Institute of Public Management. The Vice-Chairmen are Désiré de Saedeleer (B), Director-General of Training Institute of the Federal Administration within the Civil Service Ministry, and Derry Ormond from the United Kingdom, Head of the Public Management Service of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Policy formulation and implementation, representation and daily management are the responsibility of the Director-General, Mrs Isabel Corte-Real, who is from Portugal.


The total number of permanent staff at EIPA is about 100. The expert staff is drawn from all Member States of the European Union and other countries preparing for EU accession, both to ensure Union-wide coverage and to facilitate contacts. The experts in EIPA’s faculty are selected to cover the main disciplines of importance in public administrations; political science, law, public administration and management, and economics. Some are academics while others are public officials seconded to EIPA from national administrations. Since 1998, the European Commission has also agreed to second officials from the Commission to EIPA.

In addition to its permanent scientific staff, the Institute has a multidisciplinary network of visiting experts from the Member States and the European institutions to cover all specialized topics of importance to public administrations.

EIPA’s scientific team is backed up by its varied and multilingual administrative staff.

The official working languages within the Institute, as laid down in its statutes, are English and French. However, other languages, in particular German, may be used when it proves appropriate to the activity.

EIPA’s Antennae

In 1992, EIPA established an antenna in Luxembourg known as the European Centre for Judges and Lawyers. This centre is located on the Kirchberg Plateau in Luxembourg, close to the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance of the European Communities. It offers various training programmes in European law provided by a team of qualified legal experts drawn from EIPA’s extensive network of internal and external experts.

The Barcelona Antenna was established in 1996 with the aim of promoting regional cooperation and uniform implementation of Community policies at a regional level within the EU Member States. The objectives of this European Centre for the Regions are; to create a forum for reflection on the problems of the regions and their role within European integration, to develop cooperation between the regions of the EU Member States; to formulate studies and research on regional training centres with a view to increasing their cooperation.

EIPA’s International Function

EIPA and the European Union

EIPA is primarily concerned with programmes aimed at improving the understanding of EU processes and policies, developing the capacities of the administrations of Member States to cope with European integration, and assisting in the development of cooperation between these administrations. With the support of the European Commission, the Institute not only provides the secretariat but also produces the working documents for the informal meetings of the Ministers in charge of Public Service, and for biannual meetings of the Directors-General of the Public Services of the EU Member States. In addition, it plays an active role in stimulating multilateral cooperation among national institutes which provide training for civil servants and judges in order to develop their capacities in relation to European affairs. It has organized, in the framework of its antenna in Luxembourg and with the support of the European Commission, several think-tank seminars which allowed those responsible for training judges to discuss and make proposals concerning Community law.

EIPA regularly organizes seminars on behalf of and at the request of EU institutions such as the European Commission and the European Parliament. Similarly, EIPA carries out activities at the request of individual governments, addressing their specific needs. An example of such a tailor-made activity is the Presidency programme, which helps to prepare the senior officials of national administration for EU presidency.

The Institute also organizes seminars which are open to civil servants, judges, lawyers and academics from across the EU and from countries outside the Union. A notable example is the European Negotiations seminar, which enables participants to practise the strategies and tactics relevant to European negotiations and to examine ways in which to promote the efficient conduct of such negotiations. Another interesting example is the series of Comitology seminars designed for civil servants from Member States who are involved in the political process in the Community by means of various expert and comitology committees and Council working groups in which they represent their governments.

Finally, EIPA aims to assist regional and local governments to function effectively within the EU and to benefit from relevant Community policies. In this respect, the European Centre for the Regions in Barcelona plays an influential role.

EIPA and the Associated Partners of the EU

As the European Union has been strengthening its relations with Central and East European applicant countries and with Cyprus, so has EIPA. In this framework, a cooperation agreement between EIPA and Hungary was concluded which provides for the secondment of a Hungarian expert to the Institute as well as the running of tailor-made activities to meet specific requirements of this country.

In this context, the Institute evaluates and monitors closely the various proposals for institutional and policy reform in view of the impending enlargement of the European Union. In particular, it has undertaken critical research on the subjects of the Agenda 2000. This research has provided valuable input to the seminar activities and consultancy work of EIPA.

At the request of the European Commission and the governments of the Member States, EIPA carries out seminars and consultancy work in countries in Central and Eastern Europe to support their preparation for eventual accession to the Union. These seminars aim to familiarize public servants with the legal system and the functioning of the EU and provide fresh input into the economic and administrative reform in countries in this region. EIPA seminars – which are often funded by the EU’s Phare and Tacis programmes or by bilateral programmes between EU Member States and associated Central or East European countries – are geared to government officials and to parliamentarians of these countries. A special relationship has been established between EIPA and the Foundation for European Studies - European Institute in Lodz, Poland. In this framework a series of filial activities are organized jointly in order to strengthen the capacity of the Polish administration to adjust to the acquis communautaire. These activities are sometimes open to other administrations.

In addition, EIPA is involved in a number of projects on the structure and content of curricula for public administration academies and postgraduate European studies at universities in Central and Eastern Europe.

While constantly updating and improving its products and services, EIPA is developing programmes of technical assistance and training on approximation of national legislation with that of the European Union and on the process of accession to the Union.

EIPA and the Partners of the EU across the Globe

The European Union, being the largest single market and trade bloc in the world, naturally has an intricate network of bilateral agreements. At the same time, other countries are very interested in learning about the Union.

For a number of years, EIPA has been an active participant in the EU’s technical assistance programmes for China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the New Independent States (NIS) which have emerged from the former Soviet Union and the Rio Group in Latin America. In order to support regional integration in Latin America, EIPA established a Training Centre for Regional Integration (CEFIR) in Montevideo, Uruguay, on behalf of the European Union and of the Rio-Group countries in 1993. CEFIR carries out seminars, short courses, research work and institutional collaboration, as well as a three-month diploma of advanced studies in regional integration and international negotiations.


Every year EIPA runs approximately 300 separate activities and welcomes some 6,000 participants from more than 40 different countries to its training events. EIPA activities are normally held in English or French, although several EIPA seminars offer simultaneous interpretation to and from other languages. In addition, tailor-made activities often take place in the participants’ country and their national language.


EIPA adapts its training services to its target group, which varies from civil servants, judges and lawyers involved in the formulation and implementation of European policies to European, national or regional politicians, and from European experts from public services to experts from employers’ and consumer organizations or trade unions.

The training sessions often comprise case studies and simulations experienced within European processes. This is particularly the case during the Comitology and Committees, the Presidency and the European Negotiations seminars, and within the postgraduate programme leading to a Master’s degree in European legal studies which the Luxembourg Antenna organizes in cooperation with the European University Centre in Nancy and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Furthermore, EIPA will also be involved through two modules in a new Master’s degree in European Public Affairs, which will be launched by the University of Maastricht at the beginning of the academic year 1999-2000.

"Action training" centred around the practice and experience of the participants has been developed particularly for groups of high-level officials. EIPA’s EuroManagers programme offers these senior public servants the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and skills in the management of EU-related matters.

Training through mobility – learning by way of first-hand contact with partners of other countries – and the exchange of experiences feature prominently in the Karolus programme, which aims to promote convergent implementation of internal market legislation, and within similar programmes in the fields of asylum and migration.

EIPA has its own teaching staff – members of its multidisciplinary and multinational faculty. In addition, EIPA has a vast international network of experts at its disposal in order to be able to meet the highly diversified and specialized needs of public administrations.

Research and Consultancy

Research is an integral part of the work of EIPA and, in keeping with the mission of the Institute, should be both policy-relevant and applied. The research activities of EIPA’s faculty are closely related to the main fields in which it provides training; for example research into the different styles of presidencies in the context of the Presidency programme. The results of research into the implementation of Community legislation and into comparative public administration at a European level, to mention two more examples, are also used during training sessions.

Research and consultancy activities are designed to meet the current and future needs of practitioners responsible for formulating and managing European policies. As well as leading to publications, research filters through to training programmes via the preparation of case material and policy studies, comparative studies of policy management and investigations of capacities for managing integration. Research and consultancy also involves playing a "think-tank" role in addressing the distinctive issues and new challenges facing what is the most advanced system of regional integration in the world, and finding new ways of meeting these challenges.

Information and Documentation

EIPA’s professional library houses a collection of some 20,000 volumes on relevant subjects such as public administration and management, political science, law and economics, as well as subscribing to approximately 200 periodicals. It was granted the status of European Documentation Centre in 1990, which means that it receives the English version of all the official European Union documents as well a number of them in French and German. In 1994, the library was granted the status of Depository Library of the Council of Europe.

EIPA’s library utilizes the latest computer technology and can provide access to its own catalogue, as well as to all EU databases, on-line and/or on CD-ROM, such as CELEX (interinstitutional full-text documentary system for European law), SCADPLUS/SCAD (bibliographical database containing more than 190,000 titles of documents on EU policy), RAPID (selection of press releases and background information notes within two hours of the daily midday briefing in Brussels). There are terminals at the disposal of visitors who can also use them to surf the Internet. The library is open to the public from 08.30 to 17.00 hrs, Monday to Friday.


Professional research papers, seminar proceedings and working papers are published and distributed by EIPA. Research papers are published by EIPA in a new series called "Current European Issues". All these publications can be ordered directly from the Institute. A complete list of all recent and forthcoming publications can be obtained either directly from the publications department or by consulting the Internet site: The list has links to a summary and the front pages of publications (including the table of contents, etc.), as well as to information on prices, authors, ISBN nos. and the language version available. Ordering books can be done by submitting the on-line form, or sending the form back by post or fax. The working papers are in full text and may be downloaded free from EIPA’s web site.

EIPA’s Bulletin

EIPA’s bulletin EIPASCOPE is published three times a year and contains articles in English and French on a wide variety of EIPA-related subjects, as well as a Newsletter of the Regions in the European Union and a provisional programme of activities for the coming months. Recent and forthcoming EIPA publications are listed on the back cover. EIPASCOPE can be obtained free of charge on request by contacting the publications department. It can also be accessed on the Internet site (http://www., where all issues published to date can be found.

Recent EIPA Books and Working Papers

  • Books
    • Guide to Official Information of the European Union, 3rd Edition , Veerle Deckmyn, EIPA 1998, 65 pages: NLG 30.Available in both English and French

    • Openness and Transparency in the European Union, Veerle Deckmyn and Ian Thomson (eds.) , EIPA 1998, 170 pages: NLG 60.Available in English

    • Civil Services in the Europe of Fifteen: Current Situation and Prospects, Astrid Auer, Christoph Demmke and Robert Polet, EIPA 1996, 240 pages: NLG 65. Available in English, French and German

  • Working Papers (WP)
  • An Institution’s Capacity to Act: What are the Effects of Majority Voting in the Council of the EU and in the European Parliament? Madeleine O. Hosli, WP 98/P/03, EIPA 1998, 26 pages: NLG 15. Available in English

  • The Senior Civil Service: A Comparison of Personnel Development for Top Managers in Fourteen OECD Member Countries Research carried out under the authority of The Office of the Senior Public Service in the Netherlands WP 98/01, EIPA 1998, 99 pages: NLG 25. Available in English

For further information please contact:

European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)
O.L.Vrouweplein 22
P.O.Box 1229
NL-6201 BE Maastricht
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 43 329 62 22
Fax: +31 43 329 62 96