09 May 2019
Posteado en : Opinion
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
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.
24 January 2019
Due to the current situation, it is necessary to solve the main obstacles that impede the integration of migrants into host societies. Through "Living Without Discrimination", FIIAPP is working on the social integration of migrants
Many of the people who leave their country do so voluntarily, in search of better prospects. However, many others are forced to flee to escape conflicts or terrorism in certain countries. According to the UN, there are 68 million forced immigrants, including 25 million refugees, 3 million asylum seekers and more than 40 million internally displaced persons.
Due to the magnitude of this issue, in December 2000, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) defines migrants as “any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of the person’s legal status; whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; what the causes for the movement are; or what the length of the stay is”.
According to figures from the Global Migration Data Portal, belonging to IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Center, Asia hosts 31% of the international migrant population, Europe 30%, the Americas 26%, Africa 10% and Oceania the remaining 3%. In addition, in 2017 the number of international migrants reached 258 million worldwide, of which 48% are women.
What is the International Organization for Migration (IOM)?
Such is the scale of migration that an organisation is needed to verify that migration is managed in an orderly and humane way. IOM was created to fulfil this purpose in 1951, and is the main intergovernmental organisation in the field of migration. IOM promotes international cooperation on migration issues, helps find solutions to migration problems and offers humanitarian assistance to migrants.
Migration and the 2030 Agenda
Over the past decade, the international community has experienced an evolution in its vision of international migration and development. Since the first High-Level Dialogue was held in 2006, the discourse on world migration has been transformed. Examples of this are the search for ways to optimise the benefits of international migration for development, as well as the creation of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. The latter has increasingly focused on the review and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals related to migration, in particular through the setting-up of the Forum’s working group on the 2030 Agenda and the Global Compact on Migration.
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015 and the inclusion of the goal relating to “orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people” is the first official contribution to the inclusion of migration for development in the United Nations. In the agenda, indicators have been developed that can be used to measure progress on how countries manage migration for development.
Effects of immigration
The effects of immigration depend mainly on the context and how mobility is regulated in different countries. We cannot compare the situation of a person who voluntarily travels to another country to work with the situation of refugees who arrive in countries seeking asylum because of the situation in their place of origin. To understand the effects, we need to ask where, when, how and who.
It is true that there is a growing recognition of the positive effects of migration, when it is safe, regular and well managed. Many governments around the world have expressed great interest in optimising the benefits of migration through more international alliances to make migration beneficial for all.
However, one of the main obstacles preventing the integration of migrants into host societies, as well as their access to human rights, are the feelings of rejection, the negative attitudes and the discriminatory practices that they must face in their day-to-day lives.
Formulating and implementing public policies aimed at combating racism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance is therefore fundamental since many migrants are subject to discrimination in areas such as access to housing, employment, health, education and social services.
Living without discrimination in Morocco
The project “Living Together Without Discrimination: an approach based on human rights and the gender dimension”, which is financed by the European Union and which FIIAPP manages together with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, is a good example of an initiative aimed at combating the problems mentioned above: racism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance towards migrants in our societies. In addition, the project relies on the collaboration of specialised institutions such as the Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia (OBERAXE).
Its main objective is to strengthen public instruments and policies aimed at preventing and combating racism and xenophobia toward the migrant population in Morocco.
“Living Without Discrimination provides an opportunity to strengthen the existing collaboration between Spain and Morocco on migration issues, learn about the experience of Spanish public institutions in implementing policies to combat racism and xenophobia, and benefit from existing best practices at a national and European level”, highlights Florencia Gaya Campal, project technician and expert in discrimination.
28 July 2017
Posteado en : Entrevista
We talk to Inmaculada Aguado about her work in the Ministry of Justice supporting the international cooperation projects managed by FIIAPP
Inmaculada Aguado is the Head of the Support Unit for the Director General of International Cooperation in Spain’s Ministry of Justice. Her collaboration with FIIAPP goes back a long way, since 2005. Up to now she has been responsible for coordinating numerous justice-related international cooperation projects managed by FIIAPP.
Currently her work is focussed on a wide variety of tasks of an institutional nature, such as preparation for visits by foreign delegations wanting to learn about the Spanish experience in the context of justice, negotiation of collaboration agreements with other countries, as well as coordination of the Ministry of Justice’s participation in international projects.
What is the work of the Ministry of Justice in international cooperation?
When we speak of international cooperation in the context of justice, it’s important to differentiate very clearly between international legal cooperation and international development cooperation. With respect to the former, international legal cooperation, it should be noted that legal assistance between countries is essential in a globalised world in which court proceedings increasingly have an extra-territorial component and, therefore, require the collaboration of various countries’ authorities for the prosecution of criminal suspects.
And with respect to international development cooperation, this involves the participation of the Ministry of Justice in justice-related projects with countries with which we have very special relationships. These projects may have very distinct purposes: supporting legislative reforms of criminal codes; the training of judges and prosecutors; the modernisation of justice systems; the creation of courts specialised in certain subjects, such as gender-based violence, etc.
What is the relationship between the Ministry of Justice and European Unión External Action policies?
At the Ministry of Justice of Spain, we follow the guidelines given to us by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, which in turn aligns itself with EU External Action policies, and we support the strengthening of the rule of law in the countries considered high-priority for Spain. These includes the Ibero-American countries, European countries that aspire to EU membership (the Balkans and Turkey) and the countries whose stability is in our interest, such as those of North Africa, as they are our southern neighbours, and our security depends on their stability and development.
What matter do the justice projects that FIIAPP collaborates in address?
Currently the Ministry of Justice is participating by leading two Twinning projects with Tunisia and Turkey.
The project with Tunisia’s Ministry of Justice aims to support that ministry in adapting its organisation and operations to the new challenges it is facing, as following the 2011 Revolution it must enact reforms that affect the rule of law following approval of the Constitution of 2014.
We also have another project with the Turkish Ministry of Justice and legal profession to support them in improving their public defence system, in which we are also collaborating with the bar associations of Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia.
Both projects include the participation of ministry employees, judges, prosecutors, justice administration attorneys and lawyers who travel to Tunisia or Turkey for a week to work and share good practices with their Tunisian and Turkish colleagues. We implement these projects in collaboration with other countries, in the case of Tunisia with Italy, and in the case of Turkey with Lithuania and France.
In the time you have been collaborating in this type of projects, have you seen an evolution in cooperation projects?
Cooperation projects are becoming increasingly ambitious and in, the case of those I typically handle, these are projects that aim to support institutional changes in the countries where we work.
To contribute to real changes, the Spanish experts hold positions of responsibility in the corresponding institutions in Spain, as justice ministry professionals are the people who know how to propose improvements to other countries because they have had to make these reforms. And so they are increasingly asking for more specialised people who know their technical working area (for example, judge training) and also have certain skills for working in different cultural environments and often in another language.
What are the challenges facing justice in a globalised world?
In a globalised world in which borders no longer exist, not even for criminals, justice administration faces the challenge of finding new mechanisms for fighting new types of crimes, such as cybercrime offenses, as well as those associated with organised crime and terrorism.
To combat these crimes, harmonisation of legislation is necessary, a task that corresponds to the justice ministries, but also collaboration between all professionals working in every part of the criminal justice system, whether at the operative level, through police investigation, or in the prosecution phase, which is the responsibility of prosecutors and judges.
21 July 2017
The project has a budget of €12 million and will cover 30 countries in four years to combat the destructive and massive heroin business
For decades Afghanistan has been positioning itself as the primary international exporter of heroin, a deadly drug associated with the proliferation of organised crime and a massive business that moves billions of euros annually.
Producing 4,800 tonnes of opium in 2016 and with more than 200,000 hectares under cultivation, according to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the country is situated at the nerve centre of the zone known as the Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran), the origin of most of the opiates consumed in Europe.
In line with the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020, this week the EU-ACT Action Against Drugs and Organised Crime project was launched, in Brussels, as the third phase of an initiative that fights drug trafficking and organised crime in relation to two contexts:
Supply reduction: this involves strengthening legal and transnational police cooperation to attack the major drug trafficking networks.
Demand reduction: efforts are also aimed at prevention of drug consumption and improvement of drug addiction treatment.
Both fronts are essential. As explained by the leader of the project, Thomas Carter, “they are two sides of the same coin: there needs to be equilibrium between repressive policies that pursue trafficking and organised crime and those focussed on demand reduction”.
More than thirty countries
From Afghanistan, the Heroin Route traditionally crossed the Balkans to reach Europe. However, pathways have multiplied and now pass through some thirty countries using various routes:
Balkans Route: This links Afghanistan with Iran and then passes through Turkey. It is the shortest distance and the most direct overland route to European consumption markets. It has been used since the 1980s.
Southern Route: in recent years, large heroin shipments loaded in the ports of Iran and Pakistan have attracted attention.
Northern Route: from northern Afghanistan, heroin is sent to the large consumption markets of Central Asia, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
Caucasus Route: drugs produced in the Golden Crescent are transported from Iran to Turkey, passing through Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
South Route: this passes through East Africa to reach the EU from the south.
The project focusses on more than 30 beneficiary countries with very different needs and five strategic zones: Central Asia, Southern Caucasus, Ukraine, Asia and East Africa.
Spanish Civil Guard colonel and project co-director Manuel Marión highlights the flexibility of the initiative: “One of the most acute needs of Kyrgyzstan is to train prosecutors and police in using special investigative techniques aimed at drugs, such as controlled deliveries”.
Nonetheless, “it may happen that Tanzania needs to learn about the European experience with coastal surveillance, because the heroin arrives on ships” indicates Marión.
Law enforcement and legal action are generally conducted at the national level, which makes it difficult to eradicate a global phenomenon like this one. Therefore the project places special emphasis on coordination between the police forces of all the drug-transit countries. Transnational and transregional cooperation is essential.
A billion-euro business
Tom Carter describes one of the main difficulties in eradicating heroin trafficking: corruption. “We’re talking about billions of euros, and the issue is that the closer it is to the market, the more money is involved and the more expensive the product is. For example, one kilo of opium may cost €2,000 in Afghanistan and over time, as it approaches Europe, this may reach €25,000 to €40,000”.
“It’s a massive and invasive business. It moves so much money that it easily corrupts. A police officer or customs agent in any country outside Europe, for example in Central Asia or Africa, is very tempted when someone offers €200 to not open a truck”. It is a question of investing in development because “in a country undermined by corrupt officials in its institutions, the project becomes useless”, explains Carter.
The key: influencing policies
One of the main objectives of the project is to help the authorities and security forces of these countries to identify and pursue the major traffickers who handle large quantities of drugs.
However, work is being done in parallel to find alternatives to prison, such as drug treatment. “We have neither the budget nor the time to fix everything, but we can contribute our experiences from the perspective of the EU. Perceptions must be changed so that people see a drug addict as a victim and not as a criminal”, explains Carter.
For the next four years, FIIAPP will be managing this project, which has a budget of €12,000,000 funded by the European Commission, and will be implemented by experts from Spain’s Ministry of the Interior, Italy’s Carabinieri and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
14 April 2017
Pan American Day, a day intended for building closer relationships between the states of the Americas, has been celebrated since 1931.
Today, 14th April, twenty-one countries in the Americas celebrate Pan American Day, a day that reaffirms the unity of the continent.
The first time this day was celebrated was in 1931 to commemorate the founding of the Union of American Republics, later renamed the Pan American Union, which in 1984 became what we know today as the Organization of American States, or OAS.
As stated in the Charter of the Organization of American States, the principles underlying this union are “to achieve an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence”.
Following these same principles, FIIAPP manages a wide variety of projects in the region which, from different fields, contribute to promoting peace, justice and overall cooperation in the region.
For this reason, at FIIAPP we are joining the celebration by taking a tour of some of the projects we are managing in the region:
Cuba-EU Expertise Exchange
This is a project funded by the European Union that aims to accompany the Cuban government in its commitment to reforming its socio-economic policies. An example of this is the reform of the country’s tax administration, which the Director General of Economy and Planning of Cuba, Alfredo Jam Masso, explains is an extremely important activity. A website has already been created which allows taxpayers to manage their accounts, fill in forms and even close their accounts without having to visit a specific office. This reform has already been implemented all across the island.
Fight against drug trafficking in Bolivia and Peru
European experts have travelled to these two countries to carry out a series of trainings with the national institutions dedicated to fighting drug trafficking and organised crime. These experts come from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain, and have different professional profiles: police officers, judges, prosecutors and customs agents.
Both Peru and Bolivia, the beneficiary countries, and Europe contribute their experience in this field, which is of interest to both parties, thereby improving the policies and techniques currently being applied in the fight against drug trafficking.
These trainings within the anti-drug trafficking project, in both Bolivia and Peru, are aimed at police officers at different levels explains Feliz Murga, the director of the organised crime unit of the National Police of Peru:
“Both cadets and active-duty officers have received courses related to the fight against drugs, intelligence and investigation of drug trafficking, and those already involved in the fight against organised crime have received specialised courses and courses abroad, in the European Union”.
This is another drug-related international cooperation project, but with a different focus. COPOLAD, aspires to improve the bi-regional dialogue between Latin America and the European Union on drug policy.
This dialogue is centred on four components: consolidation of cooperation mechanisms, creation of national drug observatories, implementation of measures for drug demand reduction, and trainings for experts on drug supply reduction.
COPOLAD director Teresa Salvador summarises the work in the project: “these are institutional strengthening activities intended to help the national drug observatories obtain reliable, high quality data and use them to assess the impact of measures being taken to address this problem”.
Other regional programmes
In addition to these, FIIAPP manages many other projects that operate at regional level: EUROCLIMA+, a programme focused on the adaptation to and mitigation of climate change; EUROsociAL+, a programme for social cohesion in Latin America; AMERIPOL, centred on improving the capacities of prosecutors and law enforcement and judicial authorities in the fight against organised crime.
07 April 2017
Since 2015, FIIAPP has managed the project to support the Tunisian Ministry of Justice in the democratic transition process.
In December 2010, in the centre of the Tunisian capital, a pivotal moment in the country’s recent history occurred. Near the city’s main square, Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year old street vendor of fruits and vegetables, was stopped by three municipal police officers and asked to pay a bribe whilst he was selling his goods. Mohamed refused and the police confiscated his produce and cart. That same afternoon he went to the governor’s office to demand that his property be returned but received no reply. So he decided to buy a can of gasoline and some matches and then lit himself on fire inside the municipal government headquarters.
Mohamed’s flames ignited the tensions of the Tunisian people, and the square filled with shouts of hope. Thousands of citizens took to the streets to demand the rights they had been denied under the regime of Ben Ali. After several weeks of citizen demonstrations, the party was dissolved.
Since then, Tunisia has been undergoing a democratic transition. In 2014 the constitution was ratified and the first free and democratic elections were held, in which Habib Essid of the Nida Tunes party was named prime minister.
European project to support the ministry of justice
The European Union applauded the advances of the Tunisian democratic transition and made a commitment to provide support throughout the process. One example of this commitment is the project to support the Tunisian Ministry of Justice, which began in 2015, is being funded through the European Neighbourhood Instrument and managed by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).
The aim of this project is to support the Tunisian judicial system in the democratic transition process and to define the structure of the Ministry of Justice and the General Council of the Judiciary. The resident project manager in Tunisia, Ángel Llorente, describes the situation at the start of the project, “passing from an autocratic regime to a democratic system with liberties, it was necessary to change the most important laws because, in the Ministry of Justice, a series of competences previously converged that should be exercised by an independent judiciary empowered with autonomy and its own budget”.
Currently the project is at its mid-point. A first phase has already been completed involving a study to learn the prior situation and thereby identify the needs on which to base the design of future implementation of public policies. An advocate in the superior court of justice of Murcia and the project leader, Javier Parra, explained that one of the tangible achievements to date is the preparation of a five-year plan for the insertion of information technologies.
But the results of the project are not just relevant during the two and half years of its execution; it is hoped that these steps taken will be the motor of a much deeper change in the structure of Tunisian judicial bodies. One example of this is the five-year programme of objectives to be achieved in the next five years. The advisor to the Tunisian Ministry of Justice and head of the mission, Najet Ben Salah, explains that “we are committed to getting results; we have objectives that are already included in an overall action plan, and we hope that these results can be achieved in the next five years”.