Traditional and European Oriented Principles in the Codification of Administrative Procedures in Central Eastern Europe
The demanding and changing societal environment brings the necessity of public administration reforms in various aspects. This is even more emphasised in Central Eastern Europe (CEE), which can be attributed to the still ongoing transition. Administrative procedures and their codification change over time, which also applies to the basic principles related thereto. The article presents the development of such principles in national APAs of Slovenia (from 1999), Czech Republic (2004), Croatia (2009), and Hungary (2016), in line with EU development guidelines, particularly Art. 41 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights that envisages the right to good administration. The basic principles embedded in national APAs constitute value-based guidelines that apply both to the drafting and to the interpretation of rules relevant for any type of administrative decision and any stage of procedure. The author finds that more recent APAs in Central Eastern Europe present an evident trend towards governing the administrative procedure and the basic principles more comprehensively, with due account of the more contemporary elements, such as proportionality among principles and cooperation among authorities. Another common denominator is complementing the traditional Rechtsstaat principles with more modern ones, in the sense of greater partnership among all stakeholders in administrative relationships. This points to a positive surpassing of historical legacies of European development, although at the same time there is evidence of interference with the administrative procedure as a tool of democracy, mainly as a result of political aspirations or trends to increase the efficiency of public policies. Hence, in the Member States, classical and modern principles should be codified and interpreted holistically, in the light of the values of the EU.