Political neutrality

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

This page is a translated version of the page Neutralność polityczna and the translation is 100% complete.

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POLITICAL NEUTRALITY – means abstaining by the public administration official from activities characterized as political activity (in Poland the term is used interchangeably with being apolitical). The public administration official does not belong to political parties, does not participate in the election campaign to any of the elected bodies in the general election, does not form parties and political parties and does not participate in political party’s works, does not manifest publicly his/her political views and preferences, does not create an unpleasant atmosphere at work due to political views, does not discriminate or prefer subordinates, colleagues and citizens for political reasons, does not allow political influence on recruitment, selection and promotion in public administration, is not dependent on the influence of professional organisations, local government and other social organisations, does not express political views on social networks. The ban on the political activity of public administration officials, by building clear relationships on the citizen–state line, provides a guarantee that they serve the public, that the public interest and the fulfilment of the function of the state, considered as one body, is superior for them. Therefore, employees and public administration officials are required to treat all citizens equally, regardless of their political views, but also for example regardless of race or religion. Neutrality of the employed in public service means that the action of public institutions is based on the principle of objectivity and the elimination of influence on their work of factors such as their own political, religious and ideological convictions, as well as the detachment from various interests of parties or groups. Public administration officials do not have to agree with the government’s decisions or policies, but they are required to follow the political lines of the people elected in the general election, who are at the head of the state, to carry out their duties with due diligence. The influence of politics on the administration, as argued by B. Guy Peters, is becoming increasingly clear in today’s world, because the officials, in the exercise of their functions and tasks, interact with politicians who are members of parliament, politicians performing official functions, and other officials. The work of civil servants is also influenced considerably by relationships and pressures of an informal nature, various types of interest groups, and non-parliamentary lobbies. Relations with these entities are not always plain and clear, so officials are subject to pressure of various, often conflicting interests (→ impartiality) [ J. Itrich-Drabarek ].

Literature: J. Itrich-Drabarek, The Civil Service in Poland – Theory and Experience, Frankfurt am Main 2015 ■ J. Itrich-Drabarek, Etyka zawodowa funkcjonariuszy służb państwowych, Warszawa 2016 ■ G. Peters, Administracja publiczna w systemie politycznym, Warszawa 1999.