Good governance ensures public trust in government, necessary for enhancing the efficiency of policies and the capacity of institutions to safeguard fundamental rights and meet citizens’ needs. However, strained public budgets affect governments’ ability to meet citizens' needs. Most countries have experienced high unemployment, especially among young people, and increased income inequality since the onset of the economic crisis. Vulnerable groups are often the first ones to suffer from economic and political developments causing the weakening of public institutions and challenging common European values and fundamental rights.
Governments often have limited capacity to deliver public services which meet the needs of citizens. This can be caused by several factors, including limited number of staff, insufficient equipment or limited professional training,
All public decisions should be made in the best interest of the public, rather than for personal gains. Governments need to have effective measures in place to combat corruption, including procedures to avoid conflict of interests.
All decisions made by public officials need to be based on rules and procedures. In order to ensure transparency, the public must be able to access information on decisions and the implementation of policies.
Decision makers are held accountable for their actions, This means that public decisions should be reported on and explained, and that there is a system in place which ensures that decision makers face consequences in case of maladministration or discriminatory actions.
We aim to improve the integrity and accountability of public administration.
Support to good governance is mandatory in each beneficiary country, either as an individual programme or programme components. In the field of good governance, the EEA and Norway Grants support areas such as:
- Public administration reform and capacity building
- Cooperation between government and civil society, and other measures to facilitate accountable and transparent governance
- Supporting systems for budgeting, audit, control and supervision, as well as for public consultations with citizens
- Building citizens’ trust in public institutions at all levels of public administration
In addition to direct support to this area, good governance is one of the fundamental values of the EEA and Norway Grants. All EEA and Norway Grants programmes must be operated based on principles of good governance.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international partner organisation in this area and contributes with its expertise.