INTERVIEW WITH FRANCOIS-GILLES LE THEULE, DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR EUROPEAN STUDIES, ENA, STRASBOURG : 'WE NEED TO BUILD POLES OF SKILLS IN EUROPE'.

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Why should people go for training at ENA?

ENA has an objective of excellence and a European objective thanks to its knowledge of the evolution of political systems and to its geographic location. Since it has been in Strasbourg, ENA has even further confirmed its European vocation. The analysis that we make of the evolution of the political and administrative system is that, in each of the member states, the European Union's role is extremely important, that it is more and more important, that it is more and more complex, richer and richer and more and more original in the sense that we are in the middle of building a system that is no longer a copy of a national system but which is a new system. It is an "unidentified administrative system," was how a former Commission President, Jacques Delors, would have put it. ENA is therefore faced with two challenges: a very big need to train leaders and an evolving and complex situation. It is the combination of these two phenomena which means that ENA can respond to the problems more easily than others. If it was only about training leaders in known techniques, there are consultants, universities and training centres for that. The ENA model is based both on very thorough research, which is not to be found at ENA itself but in a network in Europe and that we know how to mobilise, be that in universities and think tanks, and on players who are players in business, placed at the heart of issues, who do not only know what has happened but who know what is happening and how they want things to happen in the future. In our educational system, these are not analysts, historians or observers - even if they can be - but are actors who are centre stage. That is why ENA is extremely at ease when a complicated issue develops, when a regulation has not been finalised or a reform has not been finished. We are capable, before texts are produced, to train leaders of the continent to adapt themselves and to have rules adapted.

What is your clientele, your main target?

They are leaders, from the public and private sector, in Europe, in the broadest sense, because the European model is a global model and it has a vocation to spread to countries in the neighbourhood and other regions in the world who want to reproduce it. The director-general of DG Internal Audit of the European Commission has just given a speech to us in front of a Korean delegation. He told me on this occasion that the Chinese had adopted, without changing it, the European internal audit model. The Chinese are in reality more advanced than the European Union, as the model is, for the EU, an objective while, for them, it has become the standard. Because it is original...

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