• 09 May 2019

    |

    Posteado en : Opinion

    |

    FIIAPP: Spanish cooperation agency which is part of European cooperation

    On the occasion of Europe Day, the head of the FIIAPP office in Brussels, Silvia Prada gave a presentation on the work carried out by the Foundation in its role in European cooperation and on what FIIAPP is doing in the European capital

    Silvia Prada, head of the FIIAPP office in Brussels

    The Foundation has had representation in Brussels for almost a decade. Recently, it opened its new headquarters in the Embassy of Spain in the Kingdom of Belgium

     

    The FIIAPP delegations represent the Foundation in its field of operation, framed within both the external action of Spain and the European Union. FIIAPP is a major player in European cooperation due to its expertise and experience: knowledge generated by its technical cooperation activities and the accompanying public policy reform processes nurture the external action of the European Union. 

     

    One of the main objectives of the office in Brussels is to contribute to improving the effectiveness and quality of the work of the Foundation, participating and contributing to the promotion of a structured dialogue with the agents for European cooperation. And in short, also to contribute to the strategic positioning of FIIAPP as an contributor to Spanish and European cooperation and an implementer of the 2030 Agenda

     

    This positioning is becoming more important, if that is possible, in the current European context.  In response to the 2030 Agenda and the new European Consensus on Development, the new development policy of the EU is being drawn up in Brussels; the negotiation of the new budget for the period 2021-2027 is being finalised; and recently the communication from the European Commission to the Parliament and the Council, “The EU, joining forces for a common future” was published, which will mark relations with the region during the next decade. Above all, a context marked by the new political-institutional framework that will come about after the European elections of 26M. 

     

    What does the work in Brussels consist of? 

     

    The FIIAPP office in Brussels is the visible face of the Foundation, its eyes, ears and voice vis-à-vis the agents of European cooperation. 

    One of the keys to the work is the ability to anticipate. To identify the key information and understand how the main decisions related to the EU’s cooperation policy can affect FIIAPP; and how it can be influenced from an operational level. At the same time, to transfer to those involved in European cooperation the added value of the Foundation as an entity of the Spanish cooperation system, specialised in the promotion and management of the participation of public administrations in technical cooperation programmes; in particular, in accompanying public policy reform processes and in generating dialogues between public administrations of partner countries. 

     

    All this with a view to looking for and creating alliances, working in a network. That is, by participating in the activities of the Practitioners’ Network, a platform of European development agencies to exchange knowledge and practical solutions that contribute to improving joint work; FIIAPP has been a member of the Network since 2014 and DG DEVCO of the European Commission is present as an observer.  

     

    Also, participating in networking spaces, such as those provided by European Development Days and/or the various events organised in Brussels on topics or regions of interest to the Foundation. 

     

    The work on dialogue in Brussels is crucial and is structured around multiple aspects: such as Spanish cooperation, coordination with the representations of the Spanish public administrations in Brussels, mainly with the Permanent Representation of Spain before the EU; and in particular, regarding complementarity and harmony with AECID; in addition to the bilateral Embassy. In addition, with the EU institutions (essentially the European Commission, the European External Action Service and the European Parliament); the development agencies of the Member States with which FIIAPP is most involved and which are represented in Brussels (Expertise France and GIZ); without forgetting the important international organisations that are present in the capital of Europe.  

     

    What relationship is there with the European institutions? 

     

    The bulk of the coordination with the European institutions and especially with the Commission, which is carried out from the FIIAPP representation in Brussels, consists of being in permanent contact with the main partners of the Foundation: the services of the General Directorate of International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) and the General Directorate of Neighbourhood and Enlargement (DG NEAR). And also with some of the sectoral General Directorates, those most important to the programmes and projects in which FIIAPP works.

     

    The dialogue with the European institutions is articulated with a cross-cutting approach to the priority themes and regions; and with a view both to the present and future. The tasks range from the general monitoring of EU activities (financial framework, new external action instruments, delegated cooperation), to the identification of new opportunities for collaboration, to contributing to increasing coherence in negotiations regarding new projects; and the promotion of the construction of greater synergies of the Foundation’s activities, providing support to sectoral areas and FIIAPP programmes, mainly in support of ongoing programmes that DEVCO manages centrally from Brussels. 

     

    As part of this work on dialogue with the European institutions, coordination with the European Parliament and the European External Action Service, mainly through Renowned National Experts should also be highlighted.  

  • 11 April 2019

    |

    Posteado en : Opinion

    |

    “The EU-ACT project is developed in five regions that cover what has been called the Heroin Route”

    José Manuel Colodrás is a Chief Inspector of Police and Project Coordinator in Ukraine

    José Manuel Colodrás

    The European Union Action against Drugs and Organised Crime (EU-ACT) project is funded by the European Union and managed by FIIAPP. It is run in five regions that cover what has been called the “Heroin Route”, though in reality there is more than one route involved. Ukraine is the priority country in the Eastern European region.

     

    The aim of the EU-ACT project in Ukraine is to promote an all-encompassing approach to the problem of drugs: to support the work of the institutions responsible for strengthening law enforcement while favouring demand control. Accordingly, the scope of work of EU-ACT covers different sectors of the Ukrainian Public Administration and civil society.  A fact easily attested to by simply pointing to the “registered” beneficiaries before the Government of Ukraine: The Ministry of Health,  the Drug Observatory, the Medication and Drug Control Service, the State Tax Service, the Ministry of the Interior and within this the Border Service and the National Police of Ukraine,  the Public Prosecutor’s  Office, the Ukraine Administration of Justice Service, the Ministry of Justice,  the Prison Service and the Financial Intelligence Unit of Ukraine.

     

    As stated in its Description of Action (DoA), this project takes an innovative approach to establishing its activities by paying heed to the needs expressed by its beneficiaries. So much so that an agreement was reached with them on the main areas of development of the project in the Ukraine, which are the following:

     

    Support for the Ukraine National Drug Strategy (2013-2020) and the Action Plan (2018-2020) that develops this strategy in which the EU-ACT project has participated in the design phase highlighting, among other activities, support for the participation of the Ukrainian Delegation in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC ), both at the 61st session (2018) and the 62nd session (2019). Moreover, continuous advice and support has been given in all those legal initiatives related to drug policy. In this regard, the following measures are particularly worthy of mention: regulation of the use of Naloxone to avoid deaths by overdose, the decriminalisation of the possession of small quantities of drugs for self-consumption, the extending of the powers of the Ukraine Drug Observatory  and the establishment of alternative measures to prison for minor offences related to drug use.

     

    Furthermore, the project also participates in the initiative and the development of the National Rehabilitation Programme for prisoners with mental and behavioural disorders caused by the consumption of psychoactive substances. This activity is developed in collaboration with the Ukraine Prison Service.

     

    In addition, backing is being given to the creation of an Investigation Coordination Centre for crimes related to drug trafficking between the different Ukraine police agencies, which represents a first step in implementing an intelligence model in the Ukraine that will allow policy makers to make evidence-based decisions. To this end, the best practice or model to be followed has been chosen: the Centre for Intelligence against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO) which is attached to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.

     

    On the initiative of the Ukrainian Public Prosecutor’s Office and with the support of the Ukraine Regional Office, the EU-ACT project launched the Network of Black Sea Public Prosecutors in September 2018 in the city of Odessa (Ukraine), which has already brought together public prosecutors from Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Ukraine.

     

    The EU-ACT project also supports the integration of Ukrainian administrations into European Union institutions, as well as other supranational organisations. These include the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addictions  (EMCDAA),  the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) or the Paris Pact Initiative (PPI).

     

    With respect to the fight against the illegal trafficking of psychoactive substances, criminal organisation leaders are being deprived of the gains obtained from their criminal activity as this is the only way to obtain a relevant and prolonged impact against this activity. The EU-ACT Regional Office together with the Ukraine Intelligence Unit and all the agencies responsible for strengthening the enforcement of the law of Ukraine is developing a method adapted to the country to carry out financial investigations in parallel to the traditional ones in this area.

     

    One of the objectives of EU-ACT is to strengthen the inter- and intraregional cooperation of the countries in which the project is carried out, thus backing the joint investigation work of Ukrainian police forces and prosecutors with other countries, while at the same time encouraging the exchange of experts between countries, both under the project itself and within the context of the CEPOL programme.

     

    Lastly, and following the Spanish  National Plan on Drugs model, it is in the process of creating a special fund in the Ukraine for goods confiscated on the back of drug-trafficking related crime.

  • 07 March 2019

    |

    Posteado en : Opinion

    |

    Safer road transport of dangerous goods in Morocco

    Project coordinator Francisca Guzmán reflects on the importance of legislative adaptation to the country in this matter

    Francisca Guzmán in her office in Rabat

    Morocco has a long history in the regulation of the carriage of dangerous goods by road. The country has been a signatory of the European Agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road  (ADR) since 2001 and ten years later, in 2011, Law 30/05 was published that regulates the carriage of dangerous goods in the country. This establishes the framework for this mode of transport but refers local transport to the effective application of the international agreement.. Going a step further on this path, the FIIAPP now manages, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works, a twinning project in Morocco that, funded by the European Union, is committed to safety in the carriage of dangerous goods by road based on the ADR.

     

    This project aims to improve safety and strengthen the structure and activities related to the carriage of dangerous goods by road, and its main objective is the preparation of the regulatory texts mentioned in Law 30/05.

     

    The necessary regulations for the application of ADR in domestic transport, adapted to the intrinsic characteristics of the country, have already been developed by the Spanish specialists participating in this project. The Moroccan Administration, after the legal wording of these texts has been adapted to the Moroccan legislative technique, will begin the administrative procedure for the approval and publication of the set of laws that will regulate not only the carriage of dangerous goods, but also all fields which concern and are affected by this carriage.

     

    The carriage of dangerous goods is multifaceted, meaning that many ministries, professional sectors and organisations are involved, hence the complexity of this twinning which, although it actually belongs to the Moroccan Ministry of Transport, affects and requires collaboration and cooperation by other ministries and agencies of the Moroccan administration. Hence the complexity, the difficulty and the captivating nature of the project, which concerns a large part of the administration of a country, numerous professional and economic sectors and, best of all, affects all citizens. We must not forget that the ultimate objective is to make the carriage of dangerous goods safer, since these goods are transported at all hours, every day. Suffice to mention the carriage of gas bottles, which is very common in this country.

     

    Therefore, taking into account the progress made with the project and aware of the difficulties entailed by legislative publications in all countries, we can confirm, without fear of error, that Morocco is at the starting point of the application of ADR in its territory, which will mean a very important added value for this country, and it will be the first country in this area to fully apply this agreement. This will help Morocco to become the first country in North Africa and the Atlantic façade to apply ADR to its internal transport, always adapted to the intrinsic characteristics of this territory.

     

    The international scope of the project has facilitated the introduction of the Moroccan administration into the international groups of the United Nations where the details of the ADR rules are discussed, approved and debated. This will give Morocco the opportunity to discuss, propose, and understand the situation of this mode of transport in the rest of the countries that have signed the ADR agreement. In addition, it will enable Morocco to achieve an important, prominent status in its regional area, in particular, with regard to North African countries and the Mediterranean basin.

     

    Thus, after effective application of the texts in Morocco, the country will be the leader of this type of transport in its region. All this will assist economic consolidation, consolidation of the road transport sector and, most of all, it will help to make transport safer, which will directly affect the citizens of this country, its infrastructures and the environment. Once again, cooperation will have provided a country with the necessary tools to drive economic and social development and good governance .

  • 14 February 2019

    |

    Posteado en : Opinion

    |

    “The new approach promoted by the SDGs consists of analysing problems from a broader perspective”

    Miguel Ángel Lombardo, EVALÚA project coordinator, points out that with the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals and their importance in society, there is a need to change international agendas

    In recent times there has been a change in international development agendas, and also in the public policies of different countries, towards ever more comprehensive approaches which are less incrementalist than those seen before. To mention one example, if climate change is a global issue that affects different sectors and multiple territories, does it make sense to focus on cities, to reduce emissions in central hubs or in restricted areas? It may not have a significant impact in terms of reducing emissions, but it does have a significant impact in terms of changing the development model and its relationship with cities. It is not a matter of summing efforts together city by city—this is never-ending—and achieving certain goals, but one of changing behaviour from one generation to another.   

     

    In terms of the international agenda, this trend has been marked by the acceptance by most countries of a series of objectives that shape development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is as if these countries are committing themselves to a de facto renewal of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, on 10 December 1948, just 70 years ago. These newer development goals focus on povertyhunger, healthwaterindustry and climate, among other issues, and they focus on a different way of doing things. 

     

    An interesting example of this is the work of groups of women who, in the 1980s, fled the war in Guatemala to find refuge in the southern areas of Mexico, then later, on their return to Guatemala, they managed to promote substantial changes in the communities where they were resettled. These are processes that occurred outside the major axes of the social and political conflict that marked the cities, neighbourhoods and rural areas, the counterinsurgency struggle and violence, but they were able to articulate a sense of community that would become essential at the time when democracy was re-established. Once the women achieved co-ownership of the land in the communities to which they returned, there was a change in power relations, and if that is accompanied by organisation and leadership, as was the case, it can lead to other changes in terms of the participation and political representation of women at the national level. 

     

    The new vision that the SDGs promote consists of the analysis of problems from a broader perspective and in promoting changes in power relations, not just in progress measured in percentages for compartmentalised goals.  To this we must add what we already knew, that both civil society and the local sphere play a very important role in the implementation of public policies. 

     

    As the rationale behind the SDGs is not incrementalist, it has a great potential to encompass actions that arise in local and civil society spheres, and it is not limited to drawing up lines of action in which the State is the only player. It is here where the impact of small, locally supported actions can be very positive at the national and even global level. 

  • 31 January 2019

    |

    Posteado en : Opinion

    |

    “Nigeria es uno de los países origen de trata de seres humanos y tráfico de personas más importante del mundo”

    Rafael Ríos, head of the project "A-TIPSOM: fighting against human trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria", highlights the current situation for human trafficking and people smuggling and how FIIAPP is working to end this new form of 21st century slavery

    Rafael Ríos, head of the A-TIPSOM project

    Human trafficking and smuggling, according to different reports, ranks third in the world’s most lucrative businesses, after trafficking in drugs and weapons. This business is global and therefore the only way to address it effectively is through the coordination of multidisciplinary agents on the three levels of action: local, regional and international.  Human smuggling and trafficking are intrinsically connected since smuggling refers to illegally moving people from one country to another for economic or material benefit, while trafficking refers to the crime committed when a person is captured, transported, transferred and received for exploitation.

     

    Millions of people are not only caught by deceit and false promises in their countries of origin, but they also risk their lives to reach a destination where labour or sexual exploitation awaits them. To all this must be added the large sums of money they pay, without any guarantees, to the mafias who are experts in organised crime and who profit from their suffering.

     

    The report on the global index for slavery, victims of smuggling and trafficking calculates that, as of July 2018, there were 40.3 million victims of trafficking in the world, of which 71% are women and 25% are under 18 years of age. The victims of human smuggling are men and women, but the predominant profile of the victims of trafficking are most definitely women and the cause of exploitation is mostly sexual.

     

    Today, Nigeria is one of the most important source countries for human trafficking and smuggling in the world. Thousands of women and children from West Africa are recruited for trafficking before being taken to Nigeria and then smuggled out of the country, mainly to Europe, and treated as chattel. Specifically, this illegal activity is centralised in the State of Edo, a 2016 UNODC report, estimates that 94% of the women of Nigerian origin trafficked in Europe came from this state.

     

    We cannot ignore the large number of internally displaced people there currently are in Nigeria due to the internal Boko Haram war. Undoubtedly, this elevated number of men and women expelled from their homes provides ideal conditions for the traffickers.

     

    Therefore, the causes behind this business are extremely complex because they are associated with structural factors that are difficult to mitigate, such as poverty and war. For this reason, FIIAPP, along with the ATIPSOM project, is following the strategy adopted not only by the European Union but also by the Nigerian National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), which is based on: preventing trafficking through information and awareness to prevent thousands of women being caught by deception; protecting victims of trafficking and smuggling who have returned to Nigeria, and; pursuing the traffickers and smugglers with the ultimate goal of prosecuting them based on current legislation penalising these kinds of actions. In relation to this last point, FIIAPP can count on the experience of the Spanish National Police in investigation and coordination, which is essential to improving the results concerning the identification, pursuit and prosecution of the hundreds of criminals trafficking and smuggling people between the different Nigerian states.

     

    The following actions cut across these three pillars: strengthening the coordination between government agencies and the collection of the quantitative and qualitative data needed to improve the design of actions and public policies; strengthening the coordination between the authorities in the different countries, not only in Nigeria, but also in the transit countries: Nigeria, Algeria and Libya, and strengthening the coordination between authorities and civil society by creating spaces for the exchange of information, experiences and actions.

     

    All the actions follow a gender approach since, as indicated, trafficking is mainly a business based on the dehumanisation of women as a sexual instrument.

     

    This project undoubtedly complements the Nigerian government’s strategy, not only so that the actions are viable and sustainable, but also so that coordination and cooperation between all the countries involved might form the structural pillars for long-term participation to reduce the number of women and men who are victims of this new form of slavery in the 21st century.

  • 17 January 2019

    |

    Posteado en : Opinion

    |

    El blanqueo de capitales, un problema relevante en Bolivia

    Javier Navarro, a Spanish National Police inspector and expert in the European project to support Bolivian institutions in the fight against drug trafficking and related crimes, explains how this project deals with the problem of money laundering

    One of the money laundering project's activities

    Money laundering is generally one of the most significant problems for states at the social, economic and political levels. Drug trafficking, the funding of terrorism and corruption are its most prominent predicate offences.

     

    Through international treaties and trade agreements, efforts are being made to homogenise countries’ internal legislation to create a new framework that positively favours economic and social aspects; however, at the same time, criminal organisations are emerging that use loopholes to increase money laundering.

     

    In this sense, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, through the Financial Investigations Unit, is developing and favouring numerous cooperation and collaboration actions among the country’s various financial institutions, strengthening the mechanisms aimed at preventing money laundering, such as preparing financial intelligence reports, reporting suspicious transactions and referring them to the judicial authorities if they find indications that a crime has been committed.

     

    The institutional effort that they are putting in must be translated, in the next few years, into improving results in relation to obtaining a greater number of convictions and increasing the financial assets and resources confiscated due to money laundering, which can then be reused to continue strengthening structures to prevent this type of crime.

     

    The European project to support Bolivian institutions in the fight against drug trafficking and related crimes, which is funded by the European Union and managed by FIIAPP, places special emphasis on the issue of money laundering. In the two years we have been working on the project, the focus has been on strengthening three main aspects.

     

    On the one hand, we have sought to train the Bolivian Police, the Financial Investigation Unit, the Public Ministry and the Ministry of Justice through training courses in money laundering, seizure of assets, analysis of financial intelligence and financial cybercrime; we have also proposed future specialisation modules in money laundering for the Bolivian School of Judges and Prosecutors.

     

    In addition, we have focused on strengthening inter-institutional coordination and international cooperation by establishing collaboration, support and advice channels and creating spaces of understanding between institutions that develop functions aimed at the prevention and investigation of money laundering.

     

    Finally, we have given support and assistance to help pass the fourth round of the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (Gafilat) Mutual Evaluation, which will take place in Bolivia in the second half of 2020.

     

    We must also remember that the FATF Recommendations include the objectives of setting standards and promoting the effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering, the financing of terrorism and other threats related to the integrity of the international financial system.

     

    Whether or not this Mutual Evaluation is passed will depend to a large extent on whether the Bolivian State can continue to stay off the famous black or grey lists composed of states that do not comply and do not commit themselves to establishing measures to prevent money laundering.

     

    In 2019, the project will remain active and committed to all actions that strengthen public policies carried out in Bolivia to combat money laundering.