• 23 January 2020

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    “Los proyectos twinning generan riqueza, no sólo económica sino también humana y social”

    Manuel Larrotcha, embajador de España en Rumanía y Moldavia desde finales de 2018, nos recibe en la sede de la Embajada de España en Bucarest

    Imagen del embajador Manuel Larrotcha

    Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

    ¿Podría hacernos una fotografía breve de la Rumanía del año 2020?

    Rumanía es un país poco conocido en Europa occidental, es un país que institucionalmente tiene una arquitectura parecida a la francesa, un sistema semipresidencialista. Es un país que tiene una situación geográfica clave e interesante desde el punto vista geoestratégico: Rumanía es un país ribereño del mar Negro, donde ocurren cosas, alguna tan llamativa como la ocupación rusa de Crimea.

    Además, Rumanía representa también los confines actuales en oriente de la Unión Europea y es importante ver las cosas desde este extremo del territorio europeo.

    Háblenos de su situación social.

    La situación social es una situación estable, la sociedad rumana es una sociedad tradicional, más tradicional que la española, sin duda ninguna. Aquí, fenómenos que nosotros consideramos parte de nuestra vida cotidiana, como el matrimonio homosexual, todavía no están legislados. Pero además de su carácter tradicional, desde el punto de vista social, lo que llama la atención de Rumanía es el carácter abierto y amistoso con el que reciben a los extranjeros, es un pueblo muy hospitalario.

    El talón de Aquiles, en este sentido, yo creo que es la población; se han ido cinco millones de rumanas y rumanos en los últimos diez años. Se empezó a producir un éxodo y desgraciadamente se van los más jóvenes y los más preparados que son los que con más facilidad encuentran trabajos bien remunerados en Europa occidental. De esos cinco millones, uno aterrizó en España. Y ahí hay un cuello de botella porque la economía de este país necesita mano de obra y esa pérdida permanente de población no ayuda a conseguirla.

    ¿Y su economía?

    En el nivel de renta todavía andan por detrás de la media europea y, en consecuencia, están todavía en ese proceso de acercarse a la media comunitaria. Pero es un país que tiene recursos naturales, tiene gas, tiene petróleo, tiene una agricultura muy potente. Y tiene industria: esos coches que se llaman Dacia y que se venden en España y en toda Europa están hechos aquí en Rumania y tienen muchísima industria auxiliar.

    Es un país que ofrece muchas posibilidades y constituye un mercado muy interesante, hay muchas posibilidades de actuación para el ámbito de las infraestructuras: carreteras, autopistas, vías férreas, líneas de alta velocidad, prácticamente está todo por hacer.

    ¿Por qué cree que la relación entre España y Rumanía es tan estrecha, más allá de la común pertenencia a la Unión Europea o a la OTAN?

    Esa vinculación viene ya de antiguo: la pertenencia común al imperio romano, la pertenencia común a la latinidad, la proximidad de ambas lenguas, etc.

    Durante la época de Franco no tuvimos relaciones diplomáticas con este país y, cuando en el setenta y cinco se restablecen relaciones diplomáticas, empiezan a descubrirse unos mercados muy interesantes para las empresas españolas. Y luego, evidentemente, cuando Rumanía entra en la Unión Europea se produce un movimiento de población importante de rumanos que van a España. Por tanto, los lazos son humanos, son económicos o sociales, son históricos y son culturales. Hacen que la relación sea muy completa, no solamente muy intensa sino también muy completa.

    ¿Qué papel tiene Rumanía en el seno de la Unión Europea?

    Rumanía fue uno de los últimos países en ingresar en la UE junto a Bulgaria y a Rumanía le preocupa enormemente que no se agrande la brecha que existe dentro de la UE entre Europa occidental y Europa oriental; y eso se consigue con el mantenimiento o con el incremento de los recursos financieros dedicados a políticas sociales (que incluyen la política de cohesión) y a la Política Agrícola Común. Ciertamente, Rumanía necesita apoyo, necesita solidaridad y necesita cohesión dentro de la Unión y el resto de los países socios tienen también una obligación de solidaridad. Nosotros, los españoles, lo vimos en los años ochenta y noventa, España cambió de forma extraordinaria gracias a la generosidad y a la solidaridad que recibimos de nuestros socios europeos.

    ¿Qué papel jugó la cooperación en la adhesión de Rumanía a la UE?

    La cooperación al desarrollo, entendida en sentido clásico del término, no tuvo nada que ver. Si hablamos de cooperación como asistencia técnica y hablamos de proyectos como los como los hermanamientos o twinning, Rumanía se benefició desde mucho antes de 2007. Este país, después de la dictadura de Ceaucescu, estaba triturado desde todos los puntos de vista, incluido el administrativo; no tenía capacidad administrativa para gestionar prácticamente nada. Eso hizo que, durante todo el periodo de preadhesión, desde Bruselas se viera la necesidad de dotar a Rumanía de capacidades, el llamado capacity building, y ahí una de las mejores herramientas eran las asistencias técnicas.

    Rumanía poco a poco fue generando grupos de funcionarios públicos con capacidad para gestionar, primero para elaborar proyectos, luego para gestionarlos adecuadamente y, en tercer lugar, para rendir cuentas de cómo se habían gestionado los flujos financieros que se habían asignado a esos proyectos. En ese sentido, Bruselas hizo un esfuerzo grande en Rumanía con los proyectos twinning, en los que la FIIAPP siempre fue muy activa.

    Aún así, creo que todavía Rumanía tiene recorrido en este ámbito, hay mucho por hacer, por ejemplo, en el ámbito de las infraestructuras: hay pocas autopistas en relación con la extensión territorial y con la población.

    ¿Por tanto, considera que han sido positivos los Twinning?

    Yo creo que sí, el que no siembra nunca recoge absolutamente nada. Y yo creo que generan riqueza, no sólo económica sino también humana y social.

    Yo estuve muy cerca de un proyecto Twinning en Turquía y puedo asegurar que hay cientos de gendarmes en Turquía que hacen su trabajo diario mejor de lo que lo harían si no hubieran contado con ese tipo de proyectos de la UE en los que FIIAPP ha sido y es brazo ejecutor.

    Además, había trabajado con FIIAPP anteriormente.

    Yo he trabajado tres años con FIIAPP en el ámbito del Proceso de Rabat, un proceso en el que España tuvo un papel muy destacado; de hecho, nuestro país siempre está presente en el comité de pilotaje de ese proceso. En este sentido, entre los años 2009, 2010, 2011 y 2012 conseguimos que Bruselas dedicara fondos a ese asunto, que la Comisión Europea se implicara en esas rutas migratorias del Atlántico noroccidental. Mi experiencia fue buena, organizábamos muchísimas reuniones, en Bruselas, en Uagadugu y otras veces en Madrid y trabajé mucho con personal FIIAPP.

    Y durante esos años, aprecié la facilidad con la que FIIAPP interactuaba con la Administración. Y las directrices que tenía FIIAPP estaban en sintonía con las de las autoridades de la política española en ese momento en materia migratoria y eso hacía que esta interfaz entre FIIAPP y Administración fuera relativamente fácil y siempre muy positiva.

  • 16 January 2020

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    FIIAPP Expatriates: Angel Vicente López Muriel

    Although before leaving for Turkey, they gave us many instructions when you arrive in Turkey, it is like discovering it for the first time

    Ángel Vicente López Muriel durante el desarrollo del proyecto en Turquía

    Ángel Vicente López Muriel, coordinator of the Twinning project ‘Better Management of Terrorists and Dangerous Criminals in Prisons and Prevention of Radicalisation‘, which is being carried out in Turkey, tells us about his experience as a FIIAPP expatriate, his adaptation to Turkey and his daily routine in the country.

    What has been the most difficult aspect to adapt to, and the easiest? 

    The hardest thing I have had to do has been to get my residence card. First they needed one document, then another, first I had to go to this office, then another. And finally you realise that this is a country where who you know is very important.  

    The easiest, walking the streets of Ankara. You have a true sense of security. You can leave your wallet or mobile on the table without worrying because when you return they will still be there and this is not possible in many Spanish cities. 

    Is this your first experience of living outside Spain? Is it proving to be very different from your previous ones? 

    I lived in France for many years. Turkey is more similar to Spain in the character of its people than France. However, Spanish cities are more like French cities. I think that Turkey is still a little behind the level of Europe, of course as far as the big cities are concerned. 

    What is your work like, your daily routine? Is it very different from the routine you had in Spain? 

    Office work is similar in terms of administrative work with the difference being that everything here focuses on the project and we always have time limits hanging over us. And another important difference is that we have to manage relations with the beneficiaries (with regard to customs and language) and also the relationships between the beneficiaries and the experts and the participants in the project. 

    How is your relationship with your colleagues and with FIIAPP? 

    Well, although before leaving for Turkey, they gave us many instructions and recommendations, when you arrive in Turkey and live there, it is like discovering it for the first time. Almost everything is different from what I was told, there is always a last minute change in a process that disrupts it, for example, with the phones, we have to pay fees, there were issues with the residence permit, etc.  

    Regarding project management, there are some issues that should be managed by FIIAPP directly with Brussels, as the CFCU responsible for the project’s administrative management puts many obstacles in our way and applies the twinning manual at its own discretion.  

    The relationship with the other RTAs is superb, we share problems and we all try to manage and solve them. 

    How would you rate your experience of working as a FIIAPP expatriate?

    As I said before, FIIAPP provides us with very important logistical support so the project is able to progress. However, the problem we have raised, which could be solved by a call to EU officials, has not been managed. 

    Any experience or anecdote worth highlighting from your arrival/adaptation to the country? 

    One anecdote is when I went to get my hair cut for the first time. If you are very demanding about your haircut you will have to be very patient and choose your hairdresser carefully.  The first time I got my hair cut, when I left I had no choice but to put my hood up and cover my head. 

  • 26 December 2019

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    “FIIAPP combines the two passions that guide my professional interests“

    FIIAPP Secretary General Inmaculada Zamora tells us about her career at FIIAPP and the main challenges she has faced in 2019

    Photograph of Inmaculada Zamora at the annual EUROsociAL+ Meeting in Cartagena, Colombia (July 2019)

    How many years have you been working at FIIAPP and in what roles? 

    I have been working at FIIAPP since the end of 2008. So I’ve been here for 11 years 

    I began as an advisor in governance and social cohesion, and coordinated the final phase of EUROsociAL I. Later, I went on to become assistant director, then, among other functions, I led the coordination of the projects and programmes department (ATP). In 2011, once again, I re-directed a more centralized EUROsociAL II, with more leadership from FIIAPP, with excellent results. In 2016 I went into the field (Ghana) to lead a project to fight corruption, and I finally returned to the headquarters as Secretary General in November 2018, just a year ago. 

    What could you say that the Foundation has contributed to you personally and professionally? 

    My career had been unfolding between regional development, as an official in my region, Aragon, and international development as a representative of AECID in several countries in Asia and Latin America.  

    FIIAPP combines the two passions that guide my professional interests as a civil servant: on the one hand, defending the public domain, a conviction in the great impact that public policies and institutions have on the development of peoples; and on the other hand the international dimension of development, the importance and impact of global balances/imbalances on the development of humanity as a whole.  

    Perhaps I could summarize it in another way by highlighting my commitment to reducing inequalities and, to achieve this, to the existence of strong public (national and international) powers that can adjust the starting imbalances (social, geographical, among others) that the free market sometimes exacerbates.  

    FIIAPP’s mandate perfectly combines these concerns and makes me feel that I am making a contribution in this regard. 

    What do you think is the best, most remarkable thing about FIIAPP? 

    The fact we convert knowledge into development: knowledge is passed on in universities, in classrooms, in conversations in courses and seminars, in studies and analyses, in many ways. It is possessed and passed on by professors, academics, civil servants, experts… Whoever receives it benefits individually from it. 

    But, if we talk about development, who ensures, and how, that this knowledge is transformative, that it translates into changes in society, changes in policies and institutions that ultimately improve the lives of citizens? Well, that wonderful and unique task falls down to FIIAPP. We select and convey knowledge in such a way that it produces changes and has an impact on the systems and, therefore, on citizens. For those who are familiar with the theory of change, FIIAPP works on causal chains and intermediate results for the expected change to occur. 

    This is done through public technical assistance methods that involve monitoring all stages of peer learning (between public employees) so that goes beyond knowledge sharing and has an effect on the system, on institutions and policies and finally on citizens.  

    In your work as Secretary General, what do you think is the best thing about the role? And the worst? 

    The best thing has been being able to get a complete perspective of the potential that FIIAPP has as a development tool and to be able to visualize improvements that will take advantage of that potential and better organize our knowledge to consolidate it and make it more effective.  

    But the human resources that FIIAPP has are the best thing about this institution. People who are committed and professional, with values and enthusiasm. At the same time, this is also the most difficult aspect. For me, managing human resources in a specific project for a specific activity is gratifying and satisfying because it is easy to combine energies and passions towards a common goal. The public sector does not have access to the same incentives as the private sector, so these need to be based more on motivation, teamwork and companionship, values, shared passion for what is done, staff involvement in decisions, and so on.  

    Even so, the “generic” management of human resources seems to me to be one of the most complicated tasks and I admire the people who work in that field because it is tremendously complex  

    What progress and pending challenges would you highlight this year at FIIAPP?  

    From an institutional and systemic point of view, the greatest achievement of this stage (2018-2019) for FIIAPP has been its real and coordinated integration into the Spanish public cooperation system.  

    On substantive issues, FIIAPP has placed greater emphasis on three issues which, although highly strategic, had previously been dealt with almost marginally: gender equality, ecological transition and migration. Some examples of this are the creation of an equality plan; the strengthening of EUROCLIMA+ (regional programme for Latin America); the plan for renewable energies in Cuba; migration projects in Morocco and Latin America, together with IOM and the IDB implementing their facility for migration in the region. 

    In operational and administrative terms, the extraordinary turnover of temporary project personnel and restrictions on the hiring of permanent staff, despite a small increase in recent years, remain the main risk for FIIAPP. Although technological modernization that will improve productivity is becoming consolidated, the tension on the structure is strong. In methodological terms, I would highlight the effort to install an appropriate and structured knowledge management, which will consolidate FIIAPP’s know-how and help to make visible the added value it brings to the system. 

    A final reflection? 

    I would confirm my commitment to the institution and my desire for FIIAPP, making the most of its human resources, to quickly develop its collective intelligence and consolidate a reputation for excellence, quality, model public service, and impacting on public systems to improve people’s lives. 

    #

  • 21 November 2019

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    “Forensic science helps guarantee and improve the quality of police investigations”

    We interview Jesús Agudo Ordóñez, leader of the Twinning project “Forensic training towards advanced examination methods in Turkey” and expert adviser with the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Science, who talks to us about forensic science and what it contributes to this project being carried out in Turkey.

    Jesús Agudo, project líder del proyecto ‘Formación forense hacia métodos de examen avanzados en Turquía'

    What is the main objective of this Twinning project?

    The objective is to strengthen and improve the methods used in forensic laboratories in Turkey. To do this, arrangements have been made for Spanish forensic science specialists to collaborate with their Turkish colleagues.

    The Spanish forensic science specialists basically come from three sources: firstly, the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences, occasionally joined by medical examiners from legal medicine institutes; secondly, the Criminology Laboratory of the Civil Guard, and lastly the Forensic Science Laboratory of the National Police.

    They’re all forensic science laboratories, one of them being civil, which is our laboratory belonging to the Ministry of Justice, and the other two, the National Police and Civil Guard laboratories, coming under the Ministry of the Interior.

    What do you think this project can bring to Turkey?

    This project will help Turkey above all to standardise the methods used in investigations in forensic laboratories. It’s true that Turkish forensic laboratory technicians have a very high level, probably comparable with most European countries. Perhaps the most important added value that Spanish experts can provide is precisely — and this is one of the aims of the project — that of making the techniques used in Turkish laboratories uniform and standardised and ensuring they are certified.

    What activities will be carried out to achieve these objectives?

    Forty activities are planned over two years. Practically every week there is some activity and some form of travel by the technicians of the institute or the laboratory of the Police or the Civil Guard. These technicians usually travel in pairs and we organise seminars and training cycles in Turkey, attended by Turkish technicians from the same field as the Spaniards sent there.

    At the National Institute of Toxicology we’re dedicated to forensic science from, shall we say, a human perspective. We don’t have engineers here, but all the specialists here are experts, graduates or postgraduates in biomedical sciences. Therefore, our activity is focused on the study of crime in general, including those crimes that have occurred and their effects at an organic level, at the level of tissues, in short at the level of people.

    The National Police and the Civil Guard also work in this field, but perhaps what makes them different from us is that they provide training on other, more police-specific sciences such as ballistics, sound and image engineering, voice recording and digital recording of crimes that don’t so much affect the person, the body or the human, but tend to be more technological, more “cyber”-related. So, there are training plans for all these areas.

    How does having specialised forensic experts help countries?

    Forensic science helps guarantee and improve the quality of police investigations for crime prevention and prosecution. Police sciences are fundamental; they are the backbone of society to maintain order and justice. Specifically, the National Institute of Toxicology belongs to the Ministry of Justice, and for a society to have the existence of order and justice at its core is fundamental for the development of interpersonal relationships and of all kinds of professional and business initiatives.

    Therefore ultimately what we’re talking about is ensuring countries’ prosperity and wealth and making sure their citizens feel safe in their dealings with one another and in initiating projects with economic impact that contribute to the enrichment and growth of their country.

    What added value does FIIAPP bring to the project?

    FIIAPP is a structural element of this cooperation, without whose involvement it would be very difficult to carry out this type of project. Ultimately what the people who take part in these projects contribute, both the beneficiaries, Turkey in this case, and the collaborators, Spain, is scientific know-how, in this case forensic science know-how. But it’s essential to have a body to perform organised administrative and economic tasks. So FIIAPP is the necessary body, the cement needed to make the project cohere. Without FIIAPP, projects would not have much future or make much sense.

    Do you think international cooperation is important for receiving knowledge and contributing it to other countries?

    For the peripheral countries of Europe, for countries that have applied for EU membership, for other countries that may not yet be eligible to apply or haven’t applied but are in its orbit, I think it’s very important because it’s about propagating the way of doing things we have in Europe.

    It’s a way that’s widely recognised in the field of forensic science and that is compared internationally with other areas of influence such as the US and Asia, and it’s important that countries close to Europe or looking to be part of it in the future start adopting these kinds of methods, getting used to working with quality criteria, standardisation of methods so that when the day comes for closer approximation or full membership, everything will be that much easier and the people working in those countries will have learnt how to work in the European context.

    Constant communication between the institutions of the member country, Spain, and the beneficiary country, Turkey, is important, with FIIAPP as a coordinator. It’s also important not to lose touch with the European Commission which is driving and funding this project. It would also be a good idea to maintain, as we have done on occasion, a close relationship with them to help solve those little things that may be small obstacles and try to improve day-to-day operation of the projects.

  • 07 November 2019

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    FIIAPP Expatriates: Pilar Fernández

    "You see things with a different perspective, what cooperation looks like in the field, and it all adds up - you learn and expand your way of seeing things"

    Photograph by Pilar Fernández

    Pilar Fernández, coordinator of the ICRIME project, tells us about her experience as a FIIAPP expatriate, her adaptation to El Salvador and her daily routine in the country.

    How long have you been in El Salvador? What has your adaptation to this country been like? 

    I landed in San Salvador on June 4, so I have spent more than five months coordinating the ICRIME project, which is funded by the European Union, AECID and the Central American Integration System (SICA). In the project, managed by the FIIAPP, the main objective is the reinforcement of investigation units, forensic institutes, and criminal investigation networks and procedures in the SICA.

    As for the adaptation, it has not been very difficult since previously I had lived for a few periods of 3-4 months in San Salvador, between 2013 and 2017. Therefore, I already knew the city, how to move around the country, who to call to take a taxi, where to go shopping, what to visit, etc. In addition, friends here, both Salvadorans and Spaniards, always affectionately make you a new “welcome plan“.

    What has been the most difficult aspect to adapt to, and the easiest? 

    Although I have lived in San Salvador in previous years, it is still difficult to get used to the great storms and the tremors, as they call earthquakes here, since we are in the ‘Valley of the Hammocks’ for good reason and there are continuous ‘tremors’.

    From another side, due to security issues, going for walks is tricky, and getting around the city on foot, especially after dark. Not having that freedom of movement is hard to get used to, since in Madrid I walked a lot.

    The easiest things for me were the logistical issues of finding an apartment to live in for almost three and a half years. Thanks to my friend Xiomara, before arriving in San Salvador, I already had photographs of different apartments to choose from, because she took the time to visit them. In three days, I saw all the apartments and signed the rental agreement.

    Do you have any special experiences or anecdotes about your arrival/adaptation to the country? 

    Well, certainly the arrival in San Salvador was somewhat rough, since we left Madrid airport three hours late. This was because the plane burst a tyre before entering the taxiway. So, we returned to the starting point at the airport, fire fighters came and in the end we had to change planes. But the aircraft’s alarm systems worked…

    Also, as the flight goes via Guatemala, when we went to land at La Aurora airport in Guatemala City, they told us that we had to keep circling in the airspace until a big storm passed… so another 40 minutes late… So, all-in-all a 24-hour trip.

    So, you had lived in El Salvador before? 

    Yes, I had the experience of living in the ‘Tom Thumb of Central America’. I was managing two projects on issues of Central American regional integration and democratic security with SICA. Since the headquarters of the General Secretariat are in San Salvador, I moved here for different periods over five years.

    What is your work like, your daily routine? Is it very different from the routine you had in Spain? 

    We are working at the headquarters of the Directorate of Democratic Security (DSD) of the General Secretariat of SICA. So the daily tasks in the office means being in contact with the DSD team that carries out the overall coordination of the project. In addition, being in the same building facilitates communication and work with the people who make up the Spain SICA Fund, an instrument of Spanish Cooperation that also implements other results from the project.

    The team is now fully formed with two main specialists, the project manager, the three local people from El Salvador and myself as project coordinator. So coordination between the teams, with the Delegation of the European Union in Central America and with the beneficiary institutions, is vital to achieving the project results.

    After leaving the office there is always a short time to share with friends, attend an event at the Cultural Centre of Spain in El Salvador, do some sport or rest. So the routine is a bit similiar to the one I had in Spain.

    What is your relationship like with the FIIAPP team in Madrid? And with your colleagues in El Salvador? 

    The relationship with the FIIAPP team in Madrid, with Esther Utrilla, Sonsoles de Toledo and Cristina de Matías, is close and daily. In fact, with Esther, due to the seven-hour difference between Spain and El Salvador, we leave one another WhatsApp messages to keep ourselves up to date, in addition to emails. I am also very grateful for the support of my colleagues in the Strategy and Communication area, Iosu Iribarren and Laura Ruiz. As well as Sara Ruiz from HR.

    With respect to my colleagues in El Salvador, we have integrated quite well, we are gradually getting to know each other. Both Mariano Simancas, project manager and Lola Moreno, main expert and myself, are new to the FIIAPP, so we are learning together about the application of the internal procedures, and how to approach the implementation of the project. And of course, I have a great opportunity to learn about forensic topics and criminal investigation with them, since they have a vast and wide experience. So I’m very happy, because professional enrichment is guaranteed!

    How would you rate your experience of working as a FIIAPP expatriate? 

    I value it positively. It’s a test, a calculated challenge. Having to leave your country, your city, family, your friends, that comfort zone – it’s not easy. But it means an evolution in professional and personal development.

    You live outside Spain, and you also make a small family almost 8,700 kilometres from Madrid. You see the things that happen in our country, in El Salvador and in the Central American region from a different perspective, and you experience cooperation in the field, and this all adds up – you learn and expand your way of seeing things.

  • 10 October 2019

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    FIIAPP Expatriates: Ernesto Prieto

    "FIIAPP is a well-recognised Foundation and that gives one a very easily attained feeling of belonging"

    Ernesto Prieto in his office in Peru

    Ernesto Prieto, coordinator of the project ‘Support for the forces of European Union law in the fight against drugs and organized crime in Peru’, funded by the European Union and managed by FIIAPP, tells us what his adaptation to the country and its daily routine has been like in the first months of the life of this project.  

    How long have you been in Peru? How have you adapted to this country? 

     I arrived in Lima on May 16, so I have only been here for a little more than 2 months. The truth is that it has not been difficult because I had already started here as a ‘Young Aid Worker’ and it has been a bit like coming home. On the other hand, I have seen many changes since the last time I was there, a more congested city, with a lot of traffic and a great deal of businesses, with a lot of coming and going and more momentum. 

    What has been the most difficult aspect to adapt to, and the easiest?  

     What I found most difficult was the weather, because I came directly from my previous destination, in the Dominican Republic and Cuba, and it meant landing in the southern winter, always cloudy and cold, but with time one adapts to anything What I found easiest, was being back in a place which was familiar to me, even finding friends that I had left behind years ago, it is nice reuniting with people you have not seen for a long time. 

    Is this your first experience outside of Spain? If not, is this one proving to be very different to your previous missions?  

    I have been away from Spain for a long time, I have worked in several countries, besides having already been in Peru, it isn’t such a different thing for me. Perhaps the biggest difference is that in my previous job in Peru, I was linked to a project in the Colca Valley, a province of Arequipa, a place high up in the mountains, and now in Lima things are very different, like food, the weather and the services one has access to. 

    What is your work like, your daily routine? Is it very different from the routine you had in Spain?  

     The work is not very different from a Spanish routine, or at least I think so, I have not worked there for a long time. But in the end, it is a management job that maybe similar to others that can be carried out in Spain. One thing that’s certainly true is that it begins very early so as to get around the problems of the 7-hour difference with Spain, with me trying to answer emails and calls to sort out issues as soon as possible. There is a lot of contact with partners and many meetings that help generate the necessary trust with the different stakeholders, it is a job that entails a lot of negotiation, of understanding in order, progressively, to be able to consolidate the processes

    What is your relationship like with the FIIAPP team in Madrid? And with your colleagues in Peru?  

     From the beginning, it has been extraordinary both with the team in Madrid and with colleagues in Peru. They are very professional people, who really do know what they are doing, they are very experienced. Likewise, my colleagues in Peru are very well trained and skilled, they know what they want from the project and are clear that the idea is to create stronger institutional structures, so it is very easy to work like this. 

    How would you assess your experience of working as an FIIAPP expatriate? 

     Working with FIIAPP is a new experience for me. At the beginning, to a great extent, I had to adjust to new procedures, ways of doing things, but I was always supported in this, which enabled me to integrate quickly. On the other hand, I have always had the opportunity to be linked to government cooperation, developing institutional strengthening programmes that enabled the implementation or development of different public policies. However, I had never had the opportunity to work in a European context, being able to share the work with officials from different nationalities and sectors is proving to be very enriching professionally and personally, with continuous learning. That is of great value to me, working as an FIIAPP expatriate. In addition, it is a well-recognised Foundation and that gives one a very easily attained feeling of belonging. 

    Do you have any experiences or anecdotes about your arrival in the country?  

    Well, at the beginning, I mentioned coming from a Caribbean climate where summer began with very high temperatures, to land in a place with permanent and cold cloud cover, because suddenly, I did not have the right clothes to go outside, so imagine how cold I was until I could quickly buy something warm to put on.