• 25 April 2024


    Posteado en : Inf first person

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    Under the volcano: seeking solutions to the climate crisis in Antigua Guatemala

    Leaning on the railing of the upper floor of the cloister of the Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española in Antigua Guatemala, I contemplate a beautiful spectacle.


    Looking up, I can see the summit of the Fuego volcano, one of the three volcanoes (Fuego, Agua and Acatenango) that surround what was the capital of the Captaincy General of Guatemala until 1773, when the Santa Marta earthquakes destroyed the city for the third time in a century, looming over the roofs of this beautiful building, which was once a Jesuit convent.

    Downstairs, among the pretty arcades of the courtyard, my colleagues from the Euroclima Programme – a colourful and diverse group of people from all corners of Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean – move from one huddle to another in a lively mix of choreography and conversation.

    Watching all this in the quiet evening, I think it makes perfect sense that the Annual Meeting of the Euroclima Programme is taking place in this beautiful colonial town of Antigua Guatemala.

    On the one hand, the history of the place and the ruins of churches shattered by successive earthquakes that adorn its corners remind us of the destructive force that nature can have. At the same time, the fact that Antigua is still standing, despite everything, is an example of the resilience of the people of Guatemala.

    All this immediately brings me back to the issue that concerns us colleagues from the various European cooperation institutions and United Nations agencies that implement the Euroclima Programme and our Latin American and Caribbean counterparts: to find ways, through appropriate and relevant public policies, to mitigate the effects of climate change on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and adapt to climate changes that are already irreversible, promoting sustainability and resilience of societies in the region.

    On the other hand, I feel that the history of this mestizo country is also reflected in what we have experienced during these days in the halls of the Spanish Cooperation Training Centre in Antigua: an exchange and dialogue between groups of people of different races and cultures who are beginning to travel a path together, without forgetting their past trajectories, but fundamentally looking forward, towards a common goal.

    This is particularly evident at this year’s Annual Meeting of the Euroclima Programme, as for the first time 14 Caribbean countries are formally participating in the meeting. The Caribbean enlargement has made the Euroclima family, as we like to call ourselves, an even more heterogeneous group of 33 countries.

    More heterogeneous… and more ambitious

    Because at Euroclima, we are constantly taking on new objectives to tackle the three interrelated planetary crises that threaten the survival of human life on the planet: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

    Therefore, in 2023 we broadened our thematic focus to include priorities beyond climate change mitigation and adaptation issues, with particular significance being given to issues related to the circular economy and strengthening biodiversity conservation and ecosystems, always with a focus on inclusiveness, human rights and gender.

    In addition to geographical and thematic expansion, two elements were particularly significant for Euroclima in 2023: the relaunch of relations between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean following the EU-CELAC summit that took place in July 2023, and the launch of the European Strategy Investment Agenda “Global Gateway”, which will allow Euroclima not only to drive improvements in climate policies, but also to facilitate the implementation of ambitious infrastructure projects to advance the region’s green transition.

    These new ambitions are backed by the EUR 100 million (EUR 50 million already granted and EUR 50 million in the process of being approved) which the European Union has entrusted to the Euroclima Programme to manage over the next few years. This is a serious responsibility indeed.

    All these questions float on the wind of this peaceful evening. The sun is starting to set and I think it’s all good. The challenges and the responsibility are great, but so is, as the director of the FIIAPP’s Development and Environment Department, Sonsoles Mories, stated just a few minutes ago at the closing ceremony of the meeting, our commitment.


  • 09 April 2024


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    Harm reduction in drug policies

    Risk and harm reduction is a key strategy in dealing with the problems associated with drug use. In Spain, this strategy began during the heroin pandemic that hit the country in the 1980s.

    On the occasion of World Health Day (April 7), the Government Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs, Joan Ramón Villalbí, reflects on the challenges presented by other substances such as methamphetamine or crack and whether we can apply the heroin experience to these.

    “We need to explore options for stimulant psychoactive substances such as methamphetamine or crack which, although now little consumed in Spain at the moment, have great destructive potential” – Joan R. Villalbí (DGPNSD)

    A challenge also for international cooperation, which promotes the exchange of knowledge, experiences and good practices to improve people’s lives.

    You can read the full blog here, on the website of the European program COPOLAD co-led by FIIAPP.


  • 16 February 2024


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    CT PUBLIC SPACES: a successful project in the fight against terrorism

    Javier Hernández, dedicates a few words at the end of the project to the work carried out and the people involved

    Javier Hernández

    The first phase of the CT-PUBLIC SPACES project came to an end on 5 January, as we remain confident that cooperation in counter-terrorism with other countries can be continued in a second phase in the near future.

    Promoting security, sustainable growth, social and human development in partner countries is a high priority for the European Union (EU). In this regard, it works with them to promote peace, stability and economic prosperity. The nexus between security and development is of great importance. The EU has a strategic commitment to combat terrorism globally, respecting human rights with the aim of making our societies safer.

    As is already known, the project originated from the European Commission’s interest, initially through the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation (DEVCO) and later with the Foreign Policy Instruments Service (FPI), in sharing with other countries the experiences acquired in Europe in the protection of public spaces, with large numbers of people, against terrorist threats.

    In 2015, following the series of attacks suffered in Europe and other parts of the world, the European Commission designed an Action Plan which, among other things, involved the creation of a forum for the exchange of experiences in the protection of public spaces, the aforementioned forum is the HIGH RISK SECURITY NETWORK (EU-HRSN). The Spanish Civil Guard belongs to this forum, through the Rapid Action Group (RAG), which was commissioned to lead a project called “CT-PUBLIC SPACES”, financed by the European Union, to transfer and share with other countries the experiences acquired, as well as new developments in tactics, techniques and procedures in the fight against terrorism. Ghana, Kenya and Senegal were the countries initially offered to participate.

    The project’s objective is to prevent terrorist attacks and, if necessary, to reduce their effects in public spaces with a large number of people. The International and Ibero-American Foundation for Public Administration and Policies (FIIAPP), as the legal contracting entity, and the support of the EU-HRSN have been involved in its implementation.

    Mock attack training in Kenya


    After four years of exciting and intense work, a set of activities covering many of the aspects related to the protection of public spaces against terrorist threats have been carried out and have allowed:

    • Raising awareness of all political and police decision-makers.
    • Improving the application of capabilities in: Command and Control, Risk Analysis, as well as in the use of: tactics, techniques and procedures to PREVENT, PROTECT, REACT and RECOVER in the event of a terrorist attack.
    • Encourage cooperation between law enforcement and private security. We live in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world, so we must make more effort and update ourselves as much as possible to continue working for the benefit of our society.

    I am sure that the collaboration and cooperation between all will continue; the contacts established, at different levels, between the Counter-Terrorism Fusion or Coordination Centres of Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Member States and Delegations of the European Union, the participation of police forces as observers in the EU-HRSN, the personal and professional relations between the experts of the European Union and those of the partner countries, as well as the possible second phase of the Project, will allow us to achieve this continuity and sustainability.

    In closing, I would like to express my most sincere thanks to all those who, in the exercise of their responsibilities and with their personal commitment, have made it possible to carry out this task. The list of people would be long and I do not want to leave anyone without this public recognition, so I will refer to the organisations and institutions:

    1. European Commission, through the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation and the Foreign Policy Instruments Service.
    2. Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas –FIIAPP (International and Ibero-American Foundation for Public Administration and Policies).
    3. EU-High Risk Security Network; EU-HRSN.
    4. Counterterrorism Coordination Centres: Counter Terrorism Fusion Center of Ghana National Counter Terrorism Center of Kenya Cadre Interministériel de Coordination des Opérations de lutte anti-terroriste (CICO-LAT) of Senegal.
    5. Centro de Inteligencia contra el Terrorismo y el Crimen Organizado of Spain (CITCO).
    6. Police forces: Ghana Police Service Kenya National Police Service Police Nationale et Gendarmerie du Sénégal.
    7. International programmes: UNOCT, SENSEC, NORPREVESEC, GARSI-Sahel…
    8. And of course the Spanish Guardia Civil, who, mainly with the Rural Action Unit and the Information Headquarters, have led the implementation of the project. Finally, I would like to thank the effort, interest, dedication and work carried out by the entire team that I have the honour of leading, which leaves us with the intimate satisfaction of a job well done.

    Javier Hernández

    Colonel of the Guardia Civil and director of the CT Public Spaces project.