23 January 2020
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
¿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
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, 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.
12 December 2019|
Posteado en : Reportage
9 December is International Anti-Corruption Day and ARAP Ghana, a project managed by FIIAPP, is accompanying Ghanaian institutions in their fight against this crime
INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY
The United Nations has established 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day. The purpose of this international day is for the media and the organisations involved to contribute to raising awareness of this problem among the public at large.
By corruption we mean “the abuse of power, of functions or means to obtain an economic or other benefit.” If we refer to the etymological origin of the Latin “corruptio”, we find that the original meaning of the term is “action and effect of breaking into pieces.” Corruption is a scourge which, as stated in the United Nations Convention against Corruption, approved on 31 October 2003, threatens the stability and security of societies and undermines justice. As its Latin root indicates, it “breaks apart” both the institutions and the ethical and democratic values of the societies that suffer from it.
In addition, it is a transnational phenomenon in which organised crime usually takes part, resulting in other types of crime such as trafficking in human beings and money laundering.
To combat it, it is essential to promote international cooperation and technical assistance and, for this international cooperation agents such as FIIAPP play a key role.
CORRUPTION IN GHANA
Corruption continues to be a problem that has permeated all sectors of Ghana’s society and economy. With its devastating effects, it impedes sustainable development and is a threat to human rights. It could be said that corruption has been identified as one of the main causes of poverty, deprivation and underdevelopment. In the particular case of Ghana, the prevalence of corruption has resulted in poor provision of services and a lack of access to other basic services such as health and education. Corruption is also a threat to Ghana’s democratic ideals, in particular the rule of law, justice and equality before the law.
According to the 2018 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, Ghana ranks 78th out of 180 countries.
THE ARAP-GHANA PROJECT
The Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP), funded by the European Union and implemented by FIIAPP, has been supporting the efforts of the Ghanaian government to reduce corruption for three years.
The aim of the project is to promote good governance and support national reform, in order to improve accountability and strengthen anti-corruption initiatives throughout the country. To this end, it works together with the relevant government institutions and other national strategic partners while at the same time improving accountability and respect for existing legal structures.
In addition, it acts as a support programme for the government in implementing the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), Ghana’s national anti-corruption strategy ratified by Parliament in 2014, which aims to create a democratic and sustainable Ghanaian society based on good governance and endowed with a high degree of ethics and integrity.
ANTI-CORRUPTION AND TRANSPARENCY WEEK
In light of this problem, from 2 to 9 December Accra, the country’s capital, held the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Week (ACT) in which the Government, the public and private sectors, academia, the media, civil society and the general public all took part. The week was organised by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) supported by the ARAP programme.
The purpose of ACT Week was to create a platform for assessing the impact of the NACAP in the first five years of its implementation and strengthening the commitment of the implementing partners in the remaining five years of the NACAP; to raise awareness among Ghanaians of the perverse effects of corrupt practices; to advocate for sustained collaboration and inter-institutional partnership in the fight against corruption as well as for the need to provide adequate resources to anti-corruption agencies; and to promote the use of international cooperation instruments in the fight against corruption.
The week included a large number of activities, both nationally and regionally. These included the international forum on money laundering and asset recovery, international cooperation in legal and other areas; the forum on integrity for youth; the NACAP high-level conference; the presentation of integrity awards; and the observance of international anti-corruption and human rights days.
The work of ARAP will continue not only during the week but every day until the end of the programme in December 2020, because the fight is not just for one week, but for every day of the year.
Text created with the collaboration of Sandra Quiroz, communication specialist of ARAP Ghana
19 September 2019|
Posteado en : Opinion
These projects, financed by the European Union and in whose management the FIIAPP participates, hold a high-level bi-regional conference today in Montevideo on alternative measures to the deprivation of liberty
With the presence of numerous European and Latin American authorities, COPOLAD, EL PAcCTO and EUROsociAL+ combine efforts, work, discourse and media in this conference with the aim of achieving a greater impact of the issue on society.
The conference was closed with a broad agreement formalised in a joint declaration ratified by all the representatives of the participating Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as by the European Union and by the three regional cooperation programmes organising the event: COPOLAD II, THE COURT and EUROsociAL+.
Each from its perspective, in this post the three projects highlight the common dimension that they share around alternative measures to imprisonment.
COPOLAD and the importance of coordination between institutions
In recent years, several alternative measures to prison have shown encouraging results by reducing, in some prisons, the overpopulation and with it, the problems associated with this situation. The lecture will explain the main lines of action in this area, which have shown positive results, consistently and in different social contexts, in relation to overcrowding and in addressing other associated problems. In this context, and in order to explore the successful alternatives implemented in some countries and the evaluation of their benefits, an aspect that is common, basic and essential for ensuring success in the application of any alternative measure will be considered.
This key factor is the need for inter-institutional coordination, a concept that is easy to formulate but more complex to apply. Inter-institutional coordination has proven to be at the centre of any action that promotes the development of public policies in the field of alternatives to prison if they are to be effective (evidence-based), efficient and aligned with development goals, especially the protection of human rights, the empowerment of women, the promotion of public health and good governance.
With this in mind, the conference will provide an opportunity to look more in-depth at what inter-institutional coordination means in this area, the implications of facing the many challenges of developing and managing opportunities and the coordination mechanisms (multisectoral platforms and tools) that must exist to improve horizontal cooperation between the judicial system and the security forces, as well as between social and healthcare services.
Teresa Salvador-Llivina is director of COPOLAD and Claudia Liebers is responsible for Institutional Relations and Project Strategy.
EL PAcCTO: the relationship between alternative measures to prison and organised crime
Worldwide, and Latin America is no exception, many states have a prison overpopulation that sometimes reaches alarming levels. Overcrowding is an evil in itself, since in addition to affecting the human dignity of persons deprived of liberty, it prevents or greatly complicates the correct implementation of social reintegration programmes, the physical separation between dangerous detainees and minor criminals or first-time offenders.
Numerous international studies underline that prison cannot be the only solution for dealing with crime and show that, frequently, it becomes a crime school, favouring the proliferation of criminal groups that act inside and outside the detention centres, putting the safety of convicts and society as a whole at risk. There are several criminal organisations that have emerged and have been strengthened in the prison environment, taking advantage of the weaknesses of the systems due to high overpopulation.
Therefore, one of the main concerns of EL PAcCTO is the need to support the execution and use of alternative measures to deprivation of liberty, considering them as essential to easing congestion in prison systems and focusing attention on the most dangerous persons deprived of their liberty, who can recruit followers in prisons. For these reasons, we consider that the measures are also an essential tool for the fight against organised crime.
In addition, alternative measures are a transversal issue that need a holistic approach, strong coordination and lead to cultural change and a shared approach among all the actors involved also in terms of external communication.
Giovanni Tartaglia Polcini is the coordinator of the EL PAcCTO Prison systems component, Lorenzo Tordelli is the thematic co-coordinator-manager and Nathalie Boissou is the deputy coordinator.
EUROsociAL + , favouring social insertion and the abandoning of crime
In Montevideo, the EUROsociAL+ programmes, together with El PACcTO and COPOLAD, are currently organising a bi-regional conference on alternative measures to deprivation of liberty. All three, each from its own perspective, have addressed this issue, converging on common problems that make us work in the same direction.
Imprisonment as a penalty, which should be a last resort, has been used indiscriminately in Latin America. There has been an exponential growth in the prison population in recent decades. This overpopulation, which has caused problems of overcrowding, health, and violence, has been questioned to the extent that it has shown not to be able to favour social insertion processes, nor has it had a deterrent effect reducing re-offending, or positive effects on social rehabilitation
The social cohesion approach, which the EUROsociAL+ programme promotes, is closely linked to the development and use of alternative measures to deprivation of liberty, not only because inequality contributes to violence, and this in a programme that aims to reduce all kinds of inequalities, but because in their eagerness to “leave no-one behind”, the question that should interest us above all is not why do criminals commit crimes? but why do they stop committing crimes? The search for actions that favour the decision to abandon crime is the key in the processes of social insertion of offenders and in alternative measures.
A special focus will be given to women deprived of their liberty in this conference. Despite the fact that the percentage is much lower than that of men, the number of women imprisoned in the region has almost tripled in recent decades. This growth is very fast and proportionally much higher than that of men. These trends should be a concern for governments and the prison system, still lacking or indifferent in dealing with the specific needs of women. It is urgent, therefore, to incorporate the gender perspective.
Of course, the application of alternative measures cannot be incorporated without the backing of reliable administrative action. Implementation requires a framework of action with rehabilitative measures that allow judges to give real consideration and offenders to take responsibility for their actions and change and abandon crime.
Sonia González Fuentes is coordinator of the Democratic Governance policy area of EUROsociAL+ at FIIAPP.
16 August 2019
"Talks with other experts and learning about the point of view of the other side of the Mediterranean is a very enriching experience"
Severino Falcón, coordinator of the “Improvement of the Tunisian research and innovation system” project and chief technical adviser of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities tells us about his experience during his initial months in Tunisia: his first mission and his first experience living abroad.
How long have you been in Tunisia?
How have you adapted to this country?
To answer this question, I must stress that it is my first mission. So, in the beginning, I went carefully, but as the days have gone by, adapting has been easy, smooth and comfortable. A critical point was having an apartment to live in. Once you have accommodation, if you are happy living there, it makes it easier to adapt. In the case of Tunisia, having a small Spanish community to rely on was very helpful.
What has been the most difficult aspect to adapt to, and the easiest?
First of all, my family. But with new technologies and transport, the distance is not such an issue.
Another difficult issue is speaking Tunisian and … running. Outside the capital, there are plenty of nice places to run. But the city of Tunis is not very attractive for running.
The people here are the easiest aspect. They are very friendly.
Is this your first experience outside of Spain?
Yes. It is my first experience.
What is your work like, your daily routine? Is it very different from the routine you had in Spain?
We are doing a project with defined activities. This makes it easier to know what to do. It’s new to me, and during the last six months, my daily routine has been focused on helping to get the project up and running. For this, the experience and advice of Raphael, project manager, and each supervisor, team member and an expert who participated, have been very important.
In the past I was on the other side of the project, that is to say, convening and tracking projects of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and the State Agency for Investigation.
What is your relationship like with the FIIAPP team in Madrid?
Basically, my relationship with the FIIAPP is through Yessica, the technician who manages the project, who I talk to and send emails to every day. I work with her to find ways to include the activities proposed into the project’s framework. It isn’t easy, since ideas often come up that are not feasible (such as changing the direction of a mission). Nancy joined us recently, and she is helping with mission logistics and travel for the experts. In short, the relationship, at least on my part, is very good… Now you will have to ask Yessica and Nancy.
And with your colleagues in Tunisia?
I have a great relationship with the work team.
I speak to my counterpart every day and we get on well. With the project leader of the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique (MESRS) too, though, although she is close by, since she has been appointed director general of research we have to organise meetings well in advance.
How would you assess your experience of working as a FIIAPP expatriate?
In view of my previous answers, I only have one answer to that question. Very good.
Do you have any experiences or anecdotes about your arrival in or adaptation to the country?
Every week and even every day is different. From the time you spend alone to the times when you can’t keep up with your work and social engagements.
For the time being, having conversations with other experts and learning about the point of view of the other side of the Mediterranean is a very enriching experience.
31 July 2019
Francisco Sancho, coordinator of the AECID in Bolivia, talks to us about the spanish cooperation and the project “European support for Bolivia’s special forces for fighting drugs”
What role does Spanish cooperation play in Bolivia?
Cooperation in general, and especially in Bolivia, before defining any work, is building dialogue.
Dialogue with the Bolivian institutions, with the Bolivian government, at both central and regional levels, with the municipalities and with local authorities. We must also conduct a dialogue with civil society and, based on this dialogue and all the information we receive, carry out an analysis and determine which specific actions and lines of work are most complementary for the Bolivian government and where we see our comparative advantages lying.
What are the priorities of Spanish cooperation in Bolivia?
Our priorities have been adjusted over the years as the country has grown and expanded, but we can set out four main priorities.
First, governability. For us, governability is the democratic core of a country, and above all it is the improvement of government’s administrative and management capabilities. In planning processes, as we do with the Bolivian Ministry of Planning. And also in gender equality issues as we do with the Ministry of Justice, through the Vice Ministry of Equality, paying very special attention to the issue of violence against women.
Financial aspects are also important, because there is a lot of infrastructure that requires very intense work as regards water, sanitation, and so on.
Thirdly, we have the area that can be grouped together and referred to as social cohesion, including health and education, the emphasis currently being on health, whereas previously it tended to be on education.
Bolivia being an intermediate income country, we are still working on primary care, but we have been moving more and more into covering Bolivia’s need for training of specialist doctors for the second level of medical care. And also, towards having at least five basic specialities catered to in hospitals so that patients referred from the first level of primary care can be treated at the second level.
Another very important area for us is that of heritage, culture and development, but always from the perspective of development and above all improvement of living conditions. The objective is to build on the interplay among Bolivia’s heritage, the conservation of that heritage and the country’s historical memory to develop a strategy, jointly, at national and regional level, aimed at promoting tourism and improving its citizens’ living conditions and incomes.
These are the four most important areas. Apart from this, we also do a considerable amount of work with NGOs, always within these four axes, everything being agreed in advance. The aim is to focus on these four areas and to work together on them, joining forces with the NGOs and the country.
And the priorities of Bolivia, regarding cooperation?
Bolivia’s priorities are exactly the same. We work with an analysis, with the country’s planning documents, and based on this dialogue, which we build at the social and institutional levels, we make a proposal for shared action based on our comparative advantages.
Based on these advantages, we have established the four work axes which I mentioned earlier: governance with special attention to the violence of women and planning management; health, especially as regards medical specialisation; issues relating to water and sanitation, where much progress has been made and where the Spanish water and sanitation fund’s programme, together with the government of Bolivia, has made a very significant effort. and finally, the area of heritage, culture and development.
How important is inter-institutional coordination between the AECID and the FIIAPP?
It’s essential. To achieve cooperation, inter-institutional relations are indispensable. No work can be done, especially in the area of cooperation, if there are not good inter-institutional relations.
The project “ European support for Bolivia’s special forces for fighting drugs ” is financed jointly by the European Union and Spain’s AECID and now we also have a budget from the FIIAPP.
Right from the start, both in the preparation of the first planning documents and later in the following steps, there have been very close relations between the AECID and the FIIAPP. They have always sent us regular information, which we appreciate, because it allows us to have clear knowledge of the progress and to detect the difficulties and make suggestions – only suggestions, because ultimate responsibility of course lies with the FIIAPP as implementer.
As part of this joint inter-institutional work, we also have to devise and put forward suggestions for resolving the problems that arise in the normal course of a project. I believe that this inter-institutional relationship is very important.
How has the joint work between the two institutions been for the development of the project to support the fight against drugs and human trafficking?
The fact is that, as I mentioned earlier, it’s a task that’s been carried out jointly from the very beginning, from conception. I should also mention that the European Union delegation has done a very good job of coordination in this respect.
We’ve worked on each of the points, paying special attention to detail. In all the meetings we’ve had, we’ve paid specific attention not just to how the project is evolving and to monitoring, but also to analysing problems and above all to joint proposals, in a consensual way.
I think this is the key word, consensus, finding one as regards the work dynamics and above all in problem solving.
What do you think are the main things achieved in the project thanks to this close collaboration?
The main thrust of this programme, which involves some very complex issues, is really the fight against drug trafficking and all related crimes.
The initial panorama was one of many national institutions, each with its own powers and its own roadmap and very little contact among them. This has been greatly improved. The programme of the FIIAPP, the European Union and ourselves has been the search for coordination and more pooling of resources among the institutions that work on this problem in the country. I believe that really important advances have been achieved.
Another achievement that can be highlighted is the training of human resources. This training is essential, not just because there have been many courses with specialists coming from Spain and other countries such as France to deliver this training, but because “train the trainers” sessions have been proposed so that this “installed capacity” can continue to produce without the presence necessarily of external support.
And, above all, the need, as we have commented many times with the FIIAPP, for this training to be formally set out in writing. And for job descriptions to include this need for training, because in many cases it provides some assurance as to the suitability of the person who is going to do the job. Thus, with the institutional and personal changes that are usual in any institution, the person occupying the position would be offered the possibility of training or, training already received would be taken into account.
And finally, when we speak of related crimes, especially for Spanish cooperation, the related crime that we wish to address most particularly is people trafficking. Especially, the trafficking of women, related in many cases with exploitation of sexual services, almost slavery, and also the trafficking of young people.
This line seems to us very important and sensitive because it has a very large incidence in the country. In this regard, the FIIAPP has been working on the preparation of a series of planning documents, at regional level and at the key level of the departments (provinces). It is a work that we complement, with our bilateral effort, together with the Bolivian Ministry of Justice and of course the NGOs.
All aspects of the programme are important, but for Spanish cooperation this line of work of related crimes, specifically people trafficking, is the one on which we have collaborated most insistently, given that it is a line of work that we also have in the country.
Would you highlight other examples of joint work between the AECID and the FIIAPP?
The relations between the FIIAPP and the Spanish-AECID cooperation are very close. We are sister organisations, we work together and obviously we do so in other countries too.
We also collaborate on regional programmes such as EUROsociAL+ where we have also been sharing experiences regarding people trafficking.
Here, the work of the FIIAPP and the AECID has been a permanent job for many years and in which we have many connections and relationships.