Public Policy vs. Project Management
a Case for European Cohesion Policy

Authors: Răzvan COTOVELEA and Livia CHIARIŢA

Published in: Vol:9 No.3 / 2008

      As experts dealing with the concept of project management, we frequently ask ourselves why other sectors of public policy cannot be implemented as effective as our limited experience would suggest. After all, public policy and projects follow a similar cycle. Why is it so difficult to attain the objectives of the policy in due time and within the budget? Trying to answer this question we looked through different theories connected to the phases of the policy and project cycle it, but the conclusion is not an easy one. The variety of public policies is highly influencing the different approaches and policy application is frequently depending on other factors as well, such as culture, environment, etc. However, in order to make a link between the theories and practicality we selected an ’’easy’’ case for checking if project management methods can be applied to public policy management – the European Union Cohesion policy.

      Also, the cohesion policy represents the most direct action to transpose a national policy in an European policy that, after all, aims at reducing the disparities between the Romanian regions and between the Romanian regions and the other regions of the European Union.

      Due to the fact that it relies upon a National Development Plan, upon a macro-economical model and upon a clear definition of the manner in which the socio-economical development will be stimulated, the cohesion policy and the manner in which this public policy is transposed into facts represents the greatest challenge that the European Commission has launched to the member states, for the years 2007-2013.

      The manner in which the concept and the definition of the cohesion policy is put into practice through projects of highest complexity (transport infrastructure projects, environment infrastructure projects, urban infrastructure projects – growth poles and competitiveness poles) represents the most important test through which the theory of project management will respond in an efficient way to a public policy.

Pages: 63 - 74