Public administration is struggling with the same kind of problems in all forms of democracy. How to quarantee an efficient, effective, legitimate, accountable, responsible, professional and fair public service. The key issuesof public administration in democracy are: legitimacy, consisting of legality and political control, and effectiveness, embracing expertise and efficiency. In all Western countries new answers to the problem of efficient and effective administration are discussed under the label of 'New Public Management'. The concepts tackle important shortcomings of the traditional bureaucracy. At the same time it is obvious that 'New Public Management' with its stress on decentralization, disaggregation and entrepreneurial management may create new problems, expecially regarding democratic responsibility and political control of administration, the equity and fairness of public services and the coordination, coherence and integration of public policies. The article also discusses the experiences from administrative transformation in Central and Eastern European countries.