Promoting the French civil service system in Europe and internationally

Autres pages | Publié le 03 février 2023 | Mis à jour le 03 février 2023

European and international administrative cooperation is an essential pillar of openness, development and influence for the French administration and civil service. As a vector of influence, it is implemented in accordance with France's diplomatic, economic and cultural challenges around the themes of human resources modernisation, management and governance.

The cooperation carried out by the DGAFP aims to create or strengthen partnerships in the field of the civil service and to share expertise and good practices. The objective is to address common challenges in public administration and to strengthen the visibility and influence of the French civil service system.

DGAFP's European and international action

It is based on :

  • participation in various bodies dedicated to the civil service and HR policies, at European level (European Public Administration Network EUPAN, Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for State and Federal Administrations, DG REFORM's Public Administration and Governance Expert Group) or within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in the framework of the Working Group on Public Employment and Management and the Public Governance Committee (PGC).
  • several bilateral cooperation projects:
    • regular meetings and exchanges on targeted topics with its European neighbours (Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, etc.);
    • targeted partnerships in priority geographical areas, particularly within the French-speaking world (twinning of institutional support for the Tunisian civil service launched in 2019, structured partnership with Quebec);
    • supporting the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government of Serbia in the modernisation and reform of the Serbian administration, particularly in view of Serbia's accession to the European Union;
  • the promotion of French expertise abroad, in conjunction with the French Development Agency and Expertise France;
  • collaboration with various partners at the national level in order to structure the French approach to cooperation in the field of administration and the civil service.

This strategy of European and international openness has the dual aim of feeding the DGAFP's forward-looking vision and encouraging the dissemination of expertise in the field of HR, by relying on the various partnerships and European and international bodies. The public service schools offer training courses for foreign auditors, which promote the French model and exchanges on a European and international scale. The INSP offers long international courses (CIL), a Franco-German programme of continuing education for civil servants (European Master of Governance and Administration), run by a consortium of Franco-German training establishments, and a cycle of advanced European studies (CHEE). The regional institutes of administration also welcome international auditors as part of an international cycle (CiIRA).

Focus on the European and international mobility of public officials

Promoting the European and international mobility of civil servants is part of the objectives of transforming the civil service: it is an essential contribution for civil servants and public administrations, strengthening mutual understanding and encouraging enrichment, the sharing of expertise and the use of foreign languages.

As the State's HRD, DGAFP is mobilising various tools to encourage and support its development:

► consolidating the mobility offer, by facilitating access to existing schemes and diversifying mobility offers, both in Europe and internationally;

► enhance the value of the contributions of mobility and the skills acquired, in the perspective of a career pathway;

► identify the obstacles to mobility and ensure that staff are properly supported throughout their mobility.


Public administration issues are mainly concerned with cooperation between administrations, as the Treaties only give the European Union competence to support administrative cooperation between Member States.

This cooperation takes place within various structured networks:

DGAFP has been involved in the activities of the sectoral social dialogue committee for central government administrations since its creation in 2010. It is composed of the employers' association, EUPAE (European public administration employers), which brings together the administrations of 11 Member States and 7 observers, and the trade union organisations of the 27 Member States. EUPAE is chaired by the DGAFP for the period 2022-2023, which means that the DGAFP will chair the committee on behalf of the employers in 2023.

Through its involvement in these networks, the DGAFP contributes to the work of the European Commission in the field of public service, particularly in the context of the European social rights framework.

This multilateral cooperation has also made it possible to structure a network of bilateral partnerships with EU Member States with which France shares a common vision of the civil service: Germany, Belgium (signing of a declaration of intent on strengthening bilateral cooperation in March 2021, exchanges of civil servants in November 2021), Italy (signing of a declaration of intent in March 2022 which sets out the guidelines of the bilateral Quirinal Treaty), Spain (signing of a declaration of intent in March 2022) and Portugal (strengthened cooperation for the implementation of a civil servant exchange programme), Greece (declaration of intent signed in December 2022).


The strategy for strengthening cooperation partnerships is in line with the CICID (Interministerial Committee on International Cooperation and Development), which prioritises international cooperation activities outside the EU Member States in the Mediterranean basin, sub-Saharan Africa and countries with historical ties to France. This cooperation must also include the countries in the European neighbourhood or those involved in a process of pre-accession to the European Union.

In this context, the DGAFP's international cooperation is organised around two areas:

  • countries with historical ties to France and the French-speaking world;
  • cooperation with countries in the priority areas of the Balkans and the neighbourhood.

Cooperation with the OECD

The DGAFP contributes to the work of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) through the Public Governance Committee (PGC), which meets twice a year, and its offshoot, the Working Party on Public Employment and Management (PEM) and the Global Forum on Public Governance, which meets every two years.

The work of these bodies is oriented towards carrying out surveys that provide useful comparative information on the administration of the Member States. They cover subjects directly related to our priority policies, such as management, recruitment and attractiveness of public jobs, mobility and new work flexibilities. Participation in these committees facilitates the identification of new trends and is a significant vector of influence.

On the theme of attractiveness, the partnership with the OECD has enabled the DGAFP to benefit from the European Commission's Technical Support Instrument (TSI) on "enhancing the attractiveness of the public service in the territories". In this context, the OECD was asked to act as a service provider on behalf of the Commission and the DGAFP, given its comparative analysis and structural reform support capabilities.

The work entrusted to the OECD will contribute to the action plan to strengthen the attractiveness of the civil service in the territories.

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