chapter  3
22 Pages

Innovation in the Public Sector: Hugo Thénint and Ian Miles


If Europe seeks to be a dynamic and innovative knowledge-based economy, this will not simply be a matter of transforming high-technology sectors. Public services are among the most knowledge-intensive of all sectors, as indicated by the high share of graduates in the public service workforce (especially, but not only, education and health). They contribute to welfare, quality of life and overall economic performance. Public services and public administration represent a signifi cant part of the European socioeconomic activity. Government spending in the EU amounted on average to 47 percent of GDP (Eurostat, 2008) compared to 32 percent in the US or 26 percent in Japan, and public employment represents more than 15 percent of the total employment in the EU. Thus, public services also need to be part of this mobilization towards a knowledge economy.