Main challenges in the field of ethics and integrity in the EU Member States

Author (Person) ,
Publication Date 2005
ISBN 90-6779-196-2
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This work arises from work carried out among the 25 Member States during the period of the Irish and Dutch EU Presidencies in 2004. Like many studies of ethics it was found easier to identify unethical behaviour, therefore much of the work is taken up with that aspect. The work opens with a helpful Executive Summary which indicates the areas where genuine differences exist among the Member States whilst also pointing up the similarities across the European Union regarding the obligations of civil servants for ethical behaviour.

The book is organised in two sections, the first of which addresses the matter of ethics in the public services in the Member States. Following an introduction, chapter two turns to the theoretical aspect, discussing the changing nature of general values in the European Union. Chapter three concentrates on the developments and differences of traditional civil service ethics. Corruption and unethical behaviour are considered in chapter four, while in chapter five discussion moves to practical issues of instruments of control, their effectiveness and how best to combine these instruments across the EU.

Section two deals with the continuance of the study under the Dutch Presidency, aiming to further analyse the results achieved under the Irish Presidency and to examine those elements that encourage and support high standards of ethical behaviour and the practical application of general ethical rules. It considers the existing rules in the EU Member States and any common elements in the field of ethics and integrity, and examines the impact on organisational performance of ethical and unethical behaviour, proposing practical solutions on how to foster ethical behaviour in the national public services across the EU. These aims are pursued in the six chapters which make up section two.

The work will interest policy makers, civil servants, personnel managers and academic researchers.

Danielle Bossaert is Senior Lecturer, and Christoph Demmke is Associate Professor, in the 'European Public Management' Unit of the European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

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