French model of administration

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

FRENCH MODEL OF ADMINISTRATION – the civil service in France has more than 5.2 million officials and includes the state services, local government and hospital services. The vast majority of officials are employed on the basis of nomination. They belong to the so-called corps. These are groups of officials who: 1. have gone through the same examination procedure, 2. can hold the same positions, 3. are subject to the same professional pragmatics (the Human Resources Act). The most prestigious are the so-called large state corps dealing with diplomacy, public finances and engineering. Recruitment to corps takes place through competitions in the form of a state examination. Passing the exam is also a condition for changing the official category (A, B, C) or changing the corps. An important element of the system is the National School of Administration (École nationale d'administration, ENA), a forge of the administrative elites of France. It prepares the cadre of senior state officials for public service. The School’s graduates are guaranteed employment in administration structures. Some of them engage politically. In France, there is no tradition of strict separation of official and political career. The characteristic feature of the French model is therefore: a wide range of civil service, the division of civil servants into corpora, the institution of competitions and the role of the ENA in the training of administrative staff. In the HR sphere, the French system therefore refers to the → career model of civil service. The elitist character of the civil service and the political careers of its officials is also specific for this model. (→ civil service, official) [Ł. Świetlikowski]

Literature: M. Kulesza, M. Niziołek, Etyka służby publicznej [Ethics of public service], Warszawa 2010 ■ OECD, France. An International Perspective on the General Review of Public Policies, Paris 2012.