Towards a new architecture : report of the expert group on public sector innovation
The European Union faces an unprecedented crisis in economic growth, which has put public services under tremendous financial pressure. Many governments are also faced with long-term issues such as ageing societies, mounting social security and healthcare costs, high youth unemployment and a public service infrastructure that sometimes lags behind the needs of modern citizens and businesses. Under these conditions, innovation in public services is critical for the continued provision of such public services, in both quantity and quality.
Public sector innovation can be defined as the process of generating new ideas, and implementing them to create value for society either through new or improved processes or services. The available evidence indicates that innovation in the public sector mostly happens randomly, rather than as a result of deliberate, systematic and strategic efforts. Innovation in the public sector, through strategic change, needs to become more ‘persistent’ and ‘cumulative’, in pursuit of a new and more collaborative governance model. There is a need for a new architecture for public sector innovation.
Much can be done in individual Member States, regions and in local government to build capacity to innovate and to steer change processes. Innovation can emerge at all levels and innovation leadership can come from anyone. It is however the conviction of the expert group that the European institutions – including the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament, and the European Commission – can also play significant roles in fostering innovation both at European Union level and in individual Member States