On February 24, 2022, the meeting of the Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration (EROPA) took place under the supervision of Dr. Alex Brillantes, Jr., EROPA Secretary-General.
Attending the meeting of the Executive Council were Dr. Ploy Suebvises, Dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration, Thailand’s National Institute of Development Administration, representing Dr. Tippawan Lorsuwannarat, Executive Council Chair; Mr. Suresh Adhikari, Secretary of Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration of Nepal, 1st Vice-Chair of the EROPA Executive Council; Dr. Nguyen Dang Que, Executive Vice President of National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), 2nd Vice-Chair of the EROPA Executive Council; representatives of EROPA member countries; members of the Editorial Board of the Asian Review for Public Administration; leaders of various EROPA members’ administrative and civil service training and research institutions.
After the welcome of EROPA Secretary-General Dr. Alex Brillantes, Jr., Dean Ploy Suebvises, on behalf of the Executive Council Chair expressed her strong will and hopes to bring EROPA as a leading administrative organization in the region. She also noted that the Executive Council welcomes any suggestions and contributions from the members so that the Executive Council can successfully complete their tasks.
Dr. Nguyen Dang Que, NAPA Executive Vice President, Vice-Chair of the EROPA Executive Council, highly appreciated EROPA’s role in the development of training and research activities on administration in the Asia-Pacific region. As the Vice-Chair of the EROPA Executive Council, Dr. Nguyen Dang Que emphasized his strong support for the EROPA overall development by promoting NAPA’s active participation in EROPA and expanding the institutions network.
Dr. Brillantes, Jr. briefly presented the recent activities of EROPA, which include building partnerships and linkage between EROPA and the South Asia Network for Public Administration (SANPA), in the hope of reconnecting with India; building linkage between EROPA and the Asian Group of Public Administration (AGPA); co-sponsoring, coordinating, and participating in a series of conferences and scientific events hosted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and various training and research institutions in China, Kazakhstan, Australia, Korea, etc. He mentioned the preparation for some upcoming important EROPA events, especially the Collaborative Workshop with Kasersart University of Thailand and the 2022 EROPA Conference in Nepal and provided some quick updates on EROPA’s journal – Asian Review for Public Administration (ARPA) and measures to revitalize and reform the flagship journal. He also encouraged the Executive Council members to submit manuscripts to the journal. Finally, Dr. Brillantes, Jr. presented some directions for EROPA membership and plans in expanding EROPA’s network.
Speaking at the meeting, on behalf of the Executive Council Chair, Dean Suebvises expressed her utmost appreciation to Dr. Brillantes, Jr. for his proactive initiative to convene the Executive Council. She noted that EROPA should find a way to meet the Council more often to conduct numerous activities and collaborations and encouraged the members to communicate freely with her in case there are any suggestions or proposals of collaborations for EROPA and its members.
Sharing the same view with Dean Suebvises, Dr. Akira Nakamura, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Meiji University Japan, Professor at the Japan Local Autonomy College, expressed his appreciation for the contribution of Dr. Brilliantes, Jr. to the growth of EROPA and his efforts in revitalizing the organization. With the recent linkage with different international organizations, Dr. Nakamura expressed his hope for EROPA to create conditions for its members to access good resources and practices for training, research, and management activities. These activities can also help entrench the foundation of EROPA.
With regard to the reformation and revitalization of EROPA’s journal – ARPA, Dr. Peter Fong from Hong Kong Public Administrative Association noted that the long-term goal of ARPA is to be listed under Scopus Index. In order to do so, ARPA really has to decide in which direction it is going – whether to go for an academic journal or a journal that caters to practitioners, as these two paths have different requirements. Representing the EROPA Future Plans Committee, Dr. Masao Kikuchi from Meiji University, Japan stated that the Future Plans Committee had discussed how to increase the submission to ARPA, especially from reputable scholars and young scholars. Concerning the reformation of ARPA, Dr. Nguyen Dang Que, supposed EROPA should take the unique context of member countries into consideration, and EROPA should have research support activities so that more and more scholars from member countries with a relatively modest level of development compared to Japan and Korea can still submit their articles for the journal. In addition to improving the journal quality, consideration should be given to the joint publications between EROPA and one or more of EROPA’s partner(s) to encourage their substantive participation in EROPA. Likewise, Dr. Nguyen Dang Que proposed that EROPA should encourage the participation of member countries in the Editorial Board for ARPA. He conveyed NAPA’s proposal to appoint one of their lecturers to join the Editorial Board of ARPA. Dr. Brilliantes, Jr. highly appreciated Dr. Nguyen Dang Que’s suggestion and noted that the Board would be very happy to have NAPA staff as one of the Editorial Board members of ARPA.
Dr. Nguyen Dang Que also proposed the need for a discussion between NAPA leaders and the EROPA Secretariat and the Executive Council members to discuss specific measures to promote NAPA’s practical participation in EROPA and cooperation activities.
At the end of the working session, Dr. Brilliantes, Jr. expressed his deepest gratitude for the participation and invaluable insights shared by the EROPA members in the first meeting of the 2022 – 2023 EROPA Executive Council. He also wished to organize an international workshop in 2022, either virtually or physically in Viet Nam, with the coordination between NAPA and EROPA.