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The Normalization of the European CommissionPolitics and Bureaucracy in the EU Executive$
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Anchrit Wille

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665693

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665693.001.0001

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From Mandarins to Managers: The Senior Civil Service

From Mandarins to Managers: The Senior Civil Service

(p.119) 5 From Mandarins to Managers: The Senior Civil Service
The Normalization of the European Commission

Anchrit Wille

Oxford University Press

Senior officials play a pivotal role in the Commission, linking the political to the administrative system. The logic of the political–bureaucratic system forces them to pay attention, on the one hand, to their political ‘masters’ and, on the other hand, to the conservation of the distinctive values and competences of the Commission’s administration. In recent years, the Commission and its staff have been engaged in the task of overhauling administrative systems and procedures, to equip the institution with a modern and effective European civil service. This chapter discusses the repercussions of the reforms for the position and job of top officials in the Commission. It describes how the new appointment system has changed their career paths. It also examines how the demands of increasing performance measurement and accountability affected the role of senior officials.

Keywords:   directors-general, senior officials, administrative reforms, administrative responsibility and accountability, professionalism, recruitment, role expectations, responsiveness

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