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Review article

Comparative Civil Servants’ Systems

Gordana Marčetić orcid id ; Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb

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In recent decades, civil service systems have gone through numerous reforms. The article compares the content and course of these reforms, particularly in terms of employment, leading staff, and systems of remuneration. The analysis has used the general classification of the Anglo-Saxon, Western European, and post-socialist European countries, which shows certain limitations, but should be understood as a framework tool of comparison. Despite numerous specificities of each country, there are many similarities in priorities, problems, and trends of reforms carried out by the three groups of countries, particularly in terms of structural and institutional issues. Some significant similarities between countries belonging to different groups are observable. For example, unlike the Anglo-Saxon countries, twenty-five EU member states (out of twenty-eight) have
a special public-legal regulation of the employment status of civil servants (Western European and post-socialist European countries). Furthermore, the EU, which has about 35.000 employees, is faced with numerous difficulties in trying to introduce a modern system of recruitment and remuneration, which will be based on merit principles. Overall, despite the numerous and various attempts
in many countries, reforms did not substantially change human potential management system. The key reform challenge is the conflicting requirements for the protection of the professional, non-political, rule-based, and ethical civil service, on the one hand, and political demands for the introduction of a greater degree of flexibility, openness, and cost-effectiveness in a personnel system, on the other.


comparative public service systems, public servants, administrative reforms, civil servants in the EU countries, civil service systems of the European Union

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