The 5th Irish Presidency of the European Union (EU), from July to December 1996, is regarded as having been the latest in a series of successful Presidencies over the past two decades. The Fifth Irish Presidency of the European Union: Some Management Lessons identifies a number of important management lessons that can be learned from the experience of that Presidency which are of application within the wider context of current public service reform. The research conclusions are based upon in-depth discussions with a wide crosssection of the key personnel most directly involved with its planning, operationalisation and implementation, in both Dublin and Brussels.
Drawing also upon other relevant international experience, the research analyses the management of the Presidency in relation to the role of political leadership and the centre; the development of a strategic framework and priorities; information/analysis; policy co-ordination structures and processes; policy implementation; resource and administrative issues. With regard to the EU Presidency specifically, a number of critical success factors are identified. These include the objectivity and impartiality with which Ireland prepared for and carried out the Presidency; the proactive establishment of good internal and external relationships with the key players; a consistent commitment to good strategic planning and management, as well as effective cross-departmental working and very high levels of motivation.
Using the experience of the 5th Irish EU Presidency as a case study of effective cross-departmental working, management lessons are drawn which are relevant to the implementation of the Strategic Management Initiative.