ESPAP is the Portuguese Government Agency for Shared Services focused in developing a Strategy for an Intelligent State. State exists to serve the Citizens and they must understand this as a sense of urgency in a permanent Contract of Trust. When David Osborne speaks about the increasing opportunity and necessity of putting in the agenda the “Reinvention of Government”, he is clearly giving evidence to one of the central elements of the Competitive Modernity of Europe. We need more than ever to focus on a State of the Future and the ESPAP example came to stay. The Strategical Reinvention of the State, as “Platform of Centrality” where converge the dynamics of qualification of the different social actors, demands for a new order that cannot be solved only by single operative specifications associated with the so-called E-Government or organizational adjustments associated to specific arrangements in the different Public Departments.
As so well Samuel Hungtinton elucidates in his “Clash of Civilizations”, the important aspect to stress is the endogenous capacity of the State to assume itself as the first before everything and the last before all in terms of the rationality of the processes of evolution of civil society. If it is important, as Francis Fukuyama does not stop to claim, that Civil Society is able to carry out a dynamic of leadership in the change processes, there is no doubt that the State must be able to conduct and control such a challenge.
In the New Global Economy and Innovation Society, the State has a central role to play towards a permanent insatisfaction with the creation of value and a focus on creativity. In a time of change, the State can´t wait. The State in Europe must confirm itself as an “enabler actor” in a very traditional system, introducing in the society and in the economy a capital of trust and innovation that is essential to ensure a central leadership in the Europe of Lisbon, the effective platform for the strategic competetiveness for the future. The State in Europe should be more and more a global actor, capable of driving to the European social matrix a unique dynamic of knowledge building and selling it as a mobile asset on the global market. To ensure this objective, the State must aggregate in an innovative way the commitment of the so-called three T – Technology, Talents and Tolerance. These are in fact the “drivers of change” for the State in Europe and civil society must be able to understand this new challenge and address effective answers to the different stakeholders of the system.
David Osborne is right in insisting in the actuality and importance of the challenge of the Reinvention of the State. It is essential in the modern Innovation Society to consolidate strategical mechanisms that make us believe. This is the role of the State. Government is today an attitude of promotion and qualification of the Active Citizenship. It matters to the State to be excellent. It matters to the State to be an Operator of Modernity. That´s why, never as now the Reinvention of the State is a challenge of and for all. The Reinvention of the State is in a large sense the Reinvention of Europe.