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Thread: Does Ireland need an École Nationale d'Administration?

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    Politics.ie Member Shqiptar's Avatar
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    Default Does Ireland need an École Nationale d'Administration?

    The Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) was set up on 9th October 1945 by the government of General Charles de Gaulle. ENA's function is to train top level civil servants, preparing its graduates for careers in the upper echelons of the French civil administration, the Council of State, (“Conseil d’Etat”) the Court of Auditors (Cour des Comptes), various Inspectorates e.g. for Finance or Social Affairs and the diplomatic and overseas trade promotion services.

    The aims of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration are:
    - to standardize the recruitment of civil servants destined for a wide variety of careers that hitherto were accessible via separate competitive examinations,
    - to ensure professional training of the highest quality for these civil servants, who generally rise
    to the highest levels of public service.

    While it's not explicitly stated, there is a greater degree of meritocracy. Successful candidates will have proved what they know - not who they know.

    Contrary to what I'd believed before, most graduates (les énarques) don't end up in politics. Many of them are the proverbial éminences grises who pull strings and set policies behind the scenes. Nevertheless, the list of prominent graduates really does look like a who's who of French politics in the late 20th century or early 21st century: Giscard d'Estaing, Jacques Chirac, Francois Hollande, Laurent Fabius, Michel Rocard, Édouard Balladur, Alain Juppé, Lionel Jospin, Dominique de Villepin, Pierre Moscovici, Michel Sapin, Fleur Pellerin, Ségolène Royal, Pascal Lamy, Jean-Claude Trichet, Michel Camdessus along with many who went on to become major figures in French business and industry.

    Could Ireland do with such an institution for the purposes of training future leaders? I've often felt that Irish politicians are less polished than they could be and while I wouldn't see an Irish ENA as being the only way in which one could enter politics, it would certainly be an improvement on what seems to be the current route for many: cumann >> council >> candidate for Dáil seat. We all know about the dynasties and the mediocre bumblers who are in politics because their father was or because they're particularly good at networking in their own constituency and "getting things done" - this all being regardless of their ignorance of economics, social affairs, foreign policy etc.

    The énarques system is certainly not without its critics but if - in the Irish context - it would bring in a few more people of real ability while squeezing out the Jackie Healy-Rae types, it would be well worth it.
    Eagla agus eaglais: an bhfuil an fhréamh teangeolaíochta céanna acu?

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    Science Ninja
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    Why not just send them to the Ecole Nationale d'Administration? The great thing about being in a Union is that you don't have to reinvent every thing.

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    i recall recently seeing a lefty documentary on how latin american dictators were sent to a training camp to learn the dark arts of totalitarian government, torture, media control etc. Fascinating. I bet our eejits would love to attend that course.
    How about gender-balance in immigration into ireland ? Is it currently 40 blokes arriving for every 1 woman arriving on these shores ?

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    Politics.ie Member drummed's Avatar
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    Certainly. Patslatt could run it?
    Сохранить Украины

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    Politics.ie Member Shqiptar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Science Ninja View Post
    Why not just send them to the Ecole Nationale d'Administration? The great thing about being in a Union is that you don't have to reinvent every thing.
    Well, only about 100 graduate every year. How many graduates would little old Ireland get?
    Eagla agus eaglais: an bhfuil an fhréamh teangeolaíochta céanna acu?

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    Science Ninja
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    I think that while education certainly plays into it, the prime reason for the apparent lack of high quality leaders is largely statistical. Ireland has 4.5m people, give or take. France has 65m people. They'll have 14 times as many good leaders as us if all things were equal. In reality they'll have many more due to the concentration of excellence at places like ENA, and the quality of opportunity that scale brings.

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    Politics.ie Member southwestkerry's Avatar
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    A nice idea, but knowing Ireland and our dear leaders in the making, it would all be about what expenses thay can claim.
    A ship at harbour is safe but that is not what ships were built for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shqiptar View Post
    Well, only about 100 graduate every year. How many graduates would little old Ireland get?
    how many of our lot would be capabale of graduating.

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    Science Ninja
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shqiptar View Post
    Well, only about 100 graduate every year. How many graduates would little old Ireland get?
    Well, equally, how many do you want/need? It's not that big a place that it needs so much running. If 100 is enough for France, 6 or 7 should be enough for Ireland.

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    Politics.ie Member Shqiptar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by im axeled View Post
    how many of our lot would be capabale of graduating.
    Lose the inferiority complex, FFS.
    Eagla agus eaglais: an bhfuil an fhréamh teangeolaíochta céanna acu?

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