• 07 March 2019

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    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

    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 .

  • 16 August 2018

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    “Large-scale corruption requires a global response and cooperation”

    Delia Ferreira is President of the NGO Transparency International and in this interview, she tells us about some advances against corruption as well as challenges that are still pending

    How can we bring about a cultural change in our societies regarding the phenomenon of corruption, so that it stops being seen as a natural phenomenon?  

     

    The fact that corruption is normal is a central problem in our societies. Corruption appears when it is installed structurally as the normal way of doing business or to get aid or whatever you need from the State in the way of services. This is a problem that has to do with rebuilding certain agreements about the basic values of a society. For years these agreements have been broken as has the understanding about what was good and what was bad in societies.  Even if one analyses what the perception of a very small child is about what is fair or unfair, it is much clearer than the perception that this child is going to have when he (she) permeates social criteria over the years. We must work hard on education and discuss  again what is acceptable and what is not, because, when corruption becomes the norm, there is no longer an effective antidote, because in the fight against corruption the partner that we really need is a society that is mobilised, citizen by citizen, aware of what should be allowed and what should not.  Conditions must be created to promote or channel that social energy. 

     

    What are the challenges for international coordination in the fight against corruption from examples of global institutionalised corruption like the Lavo Jato case?  

     

    Large-scale corruption, like the Lava Jato case, poses different challenges for the justice system than the corruption cases seen previously, however big they were in monetary terms, because this is a global phenomenon and, therefore, requires a global response and cooperation, not only at the country level but also between all agencies.  This is one of the problems faced by the justice system when it wants to investigate these cases. Not only access to banking information, tax information, information on money laundering organisations, which should be made far easier for the judges and prosecutors who are investigating, but also the need for international cooperation. 

     

    This is why the procedural rules must be changed in many countries and the international conventions on fighting corruption must be altered, because we continue to face this type of problem in a situation in which money is moved from one country to another with a mouse click on a computer, in a matter of seconds, and it disappears off the radar.  Here, we are confronted with the same mechanisms for dealing with the government as we had in the 19th century: the judge prepares an official letter that goes to the government, the government sends it to the government of another country, which sends it to a judge, and that judge says that he lacks a detail and returns it, and months go by, if not years, before the information is obtained. Also, if the money moves from one country to another, or from one social structure to another, or to another fiscal paradise in a matter of seconds, it is impossible to follow its trail, which is essential for investigating corruption. 

     

    Recently , an Anti-Corruption Legal Aid Centre (ALAC) was inaugurated in Chile, with the support of EUROsociAL+ , a programme managed by FIIAPP. What is the value of this centre for allegations of corruption and how will it serve as a link between the State and citizens?  

     

    ALACs already exist in our chapters in over 60 countries. The idea behind these centres is to support victims of corruption or those who know of cases of corruption and want to report them and do not have the legal or judicial support needed to do so.  ALACs have allowed us to trigger allegations of corruption in many countries around the world, because it is no longer an individual citizen but an organisation that is linked with the Public Prosecution Service and can channel the complaints and follow them through. 

     

    In many of these countries what we have are agreements with their bar associations that allow us to have top-level legal advice from lawyers who work on the cases pro bono and provide, through ALACs, contact with those who want to go to court and do not know how.  Also, these ALAC centres have provided us with a great deal of information on how corruption operates in the countries, direct, first-hand information that would have been difficult to gather otherwise, since corruption operates in total secrecy, receipts are not handed out for corruption except in exceptional cases in which a record was kept of the accounting, as happened with Odrebrecht, which had a section of the company devoted to these structured operations. 

     

    To what extent does corruption have different effects on women?  

     

    An important sector in which to find a gender difference is in relation to access to services and allowances that are linked to petty corruption. This is because women are responsible for care-giving tasks and, therefore, we are the visible face that is requesting the aid, because poverty has been feminised and the poorest sectors are those that need the cooperation of the State in the provision of those services. 

     

    Another factor that specifically punishes women, or does so in a more substantial manner, is the area of exchange currencies. In many petty corruption cases, sexual favours are demanded or they give rise to situations of harassment in which women are victims twice over.  

     

    The corruption barometer, which is one of International Transparency’s measuring tools, shows that in the region, areas of public policy like health, education and social plans are perceived as being the most corrupt or the most prone to corruption, and these are the areas clearly linked to care-giving tasks and requesting allowances.  So, corruption has a different effect on men and women. 

     

    The other two areas of the state in which different effects can be observed are the police and the courts. When the police and the courts are affected by corruption, the women who have to resort to them in cases of discrimination, domestic or gender violence, femicides, rape or harassment face the fact that, when they defend their rights in an area dominated by corruption, instead of finding protection and a guarantee of these rights, they end up being victims. 

  • 14 June 2018

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    The importance of international cooperation on customs surveillance

    The cross-border nature of the crimes faced by customs surveillance requires international cooperation and coordination efforts by the institutions responsible

    In Spain, the Customs Surveillance Service is a Sub-Directorate General attached to the Tax Agency’s Customs and Excise Duties Department and belonging to the Ministry of Finance and Public Function. It is made up of officials who are considered law enforcement officers (customs and excise officers and judicial police officers) who work all over Spain and in its airspace and territorial waters. The tasks it undertakes essentially consist of curbing petty and large-scale smuggling and combatting drug trafficking and other similar crimes, money laundering, tax evasion and the informal economy. All of these have an increasingly global dimension.

     

    In regard to international cooperation on customs surveillance, coordination and cooperation between national and European bodies and with third states are of vital importance , both in general for the public and the State and in particular for the organisations involved in this cooperation, such as the Tax Agency’s Sub-Directorate General of Customs Surveillance.

     

    The scale of the illegal activities dealt with by us as an organisation takes various forms: firstly, because these are activities that extend beyond state borders and, secondly, because the perpetrators take advantage of the differences in legislation between the states and look for loopholes so that they can carry on their criminal activities.

     

    In this sense, therefore, the fight against this complex type of crime faces many difficulties, although it tends to end in success. In most cases, the flow of information and the coordination between the operational resources of the different countries are what makes this success possible.

     

    The twinning project named “Improving maritime surveillance in Turkish customs”, which is managed by FIIAPP, is currently taking place between the Spanish and Turkish customs services. The project is intended to improve the knowledge and techniques of both States so as to bring about internal improvement and implement new techniques and new operational tactics in our searches and routine work that will help us to devise and have a new vision of how we can operate against these mafias.

     

    Laura Rebollo Villarino is the head of Air and Sea Operations and CECOP, which report to the Tax Agency’s Sub-Directorate General of Customs Surveillance

     

    About the Project

     

    The aim of the Improving Maritime Surveillance in Turkish Customs project, which is financed by the European Union and managed by FIIAPP in collaboration with Douanes & Droits Indirects, is to try to improve the surveillance ability of Turkey’s maritime customs service. It also seeks to ensure that the country fulfils the obligations in this area set by the European Union for Member States.

     

    Since last November, experts from Spain’s IEF (Institute of Fiscal Studies) and AEAT (State Tax Administration Agency) have been working with their Turkish counterparts to improve the skills and procedures of the country’s customs surveillance, from illegal trade to forgery and other related offences. Spain and Turkey have similarities in this area as both countries have a long coastline and also have to cope with a strait that forms a bottleneck for shipping. Both countries also form a bridge between two continents, so that the risks and threats they face are very similar.

  • 08 June 2018

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    “FIIAPP and CIVIPOL share the objective of supporting public policies”

    CIVIPOL has been the technical cooperation operator of the French Ministry of the Interior since 2001. Its activities are mainly carried out at the international level and it is essentially financed by the European Union. Yann Jounot is the General Director of CIVIPOL and he speaks to us in this interview about the consultancy's work and his work with FIIAPP

    What is CIVIPOL and what does it do?

     

    CIVIPOL is the French Ministry of the Interior’s consulting and service company. Its role is to enhance the work of experts at the international level, particularly in the context of development projects financed by the European Commission, the World Bank, etc.

     

    In addition, the company is involved in all the areas belonging to the Ministry in France: Police, Territorial Government, Civil Security and also civil status and mine clearance.

     

    Which sectors and geographical areas are a priority for CIVIPOL?

     

    The priority geographical areas for CIVIPOL are those covered by the Ministry of the Interior. On the one hand, West Africa, in particular the Sahara region, and the Maghreb region and the Middle East. On the other, in recent years the company has also developed its activities, particularly in East Africa and in English-speaking Africa in general (Nigeria and Kenya, for example).

     

    One of CIVIPOL’s main activities is managing projects financed by the European Commission. In this regard, how do you view FIIAPP and what is your relationship with the Foundation?

     

    FIIAPP is a historic and strategic partner for CIVIPOL. The Foundation shares with CIVIPOL the objective of supporting public policies, and our staff has long maintained day-to-day relations with FIIAPP’s justice and security sectors, which are our regular contact points.

     

    Which projects are CIVIPOL and FIIAPP currently collaborating on?

     

    We are currently collaborating on 10 projects, mainly in the areas of security, within a wide geographical area. These projects include: strengthening the police in Myanmar; GAR-SI Sahel and the fight against organised crime in the horn of Africa. Not to mention projects that are now being prepared or negotiated, which are part of a privileged bilateral cooperation between France and Spain on security issues.

     

    CIVIPOL and FIIAPP have recently signed an agreement for a project in Senegal. What does this agreement involve? Why work with FIIAPP?

     

    CIVIPOL wanted to collaborate with FIIAPP because this will allow the project to benefit from the knowledge of Spanish experts in internal security issues. The agreement lays down the legal conditions setting out the rules and financial conditions for this collaboration.

     

    What is the aim of the project in Senegal?

     

    The project should enable Senegal’s internal security services to have better equipment to fight terrorism and organised crime and to control and monitor its borders. The project will also help to improve internal security by improving the security of the general public and their property.

  • 08 March 2018

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    Posteado en : Reportage

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    Cooperation for universal equality

    Agenda 2030 counts on cooperation as a tool for advancing the gender equality that is being publicly demanded

    “On International Women’s Day, we must commit ourselves to doing everything possible to overcome entrenched prejudices, support participation and activism, and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women”. These are the words of António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, on International Women’s Day. Another 8 March for reflecting on what has been achieved and what remains to be done in terms of equality.

     

    In 1995, almost 200 governments signed a historic road map in Beijing for achieving equal women’s rights. Two decades later, movements in favour of that equality continue to fill the streets and social networks throughout the world. In the face of this joint and global progress, international cooperation can be a key tool to achieving this equality.

     

    Mar Merita, a technician specialising in gender with the EUROsociAL+ programme – which is funded by the European Commission and managed by FIIAPP – affirms how much innovation has taken place regarding the role of women in the Agenda 2030 framework for cooperation.

     

    From ensuring that children have an equitable and high quality education, through ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls throughout the world, to making equality one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) established by several world leaders for a better world in 2030.

     

    Equality in the EU

     

    Gender equality is also one of the founding values of the European Union, which closely follows these development objectives. It also analyses progress towards these objectives through a periodic study.

     

    The latest one (Sustainable Development in the European Union, 2017) provides data on four specific areas that serve as indicators when evaluating the goal of equality: gender violence, access to education, employment and positions of responsibility.

     

    goal-5

     

    Gender violence is a reality in the EU in 2012. Where one in three women say they have experienced physical or sexual violence since they were 15 years old. This problem is the cause and consequence of inequality, and the fight against it begins the moment children gain access to education.

     

    However, the fact that men drop out of school earlier and women are more successful in this area is not reflected in the employment rate of recent graduates, which is higher for men. In addition, the proportion of men of working age in employment exceeds that of working women by 11.6%.

     

    Employment is one of the areas that is most linked to gender roles, family responsibilities and traditions. And it is reflected in the wage gap: in 2015, according to the same study, women earned 16.3% less per hour than men. The same difference as 5 years ago.

     

    Progress has a cost in what Mar calls the “third generation of rights”, which would include this difference in wages that continues to be significant in most countries. According to the expert from EUROsociAL+, despite the progress in the recognition of political rights, there is still work to be done regarding social, cultural and economic rights; through which that “real equality” would be achieved.

     

    The distribution of political positions and positions of responsibility also reflects inequality, since women do not usually have as much representation as men in decision-making processes. While the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments has increased since 2003, women still held less than one third (28.9%) of these seats in 2017.

     

    Cooperation as a tool

     

    Many of these issues, such as the wage gap and sexual harassment, are the focus of current events. These have included public denunciations, with a strong international impact, which nevertheless need “processes for dealing with these problems”.

     

    Dominique de Suremain, coordinator of the gender equity policy area for the EUROsociAL+ programme, believes she sees “less visible work for change” when these demands materialise and are reflected in the system.

     

    blog-genero-2018

     

    This is where cooperation comes into play, it has an essential role in the implementation of public policies that take these demands into account. It is important, according to Dominique, “to introduce that concern into the design of the projects” from the outset. It is a cross-cutting issue that must not only be applied in social projects, but it is also relevant for all the themes.

     

    An example would be the gender focus workshop organised by ARAP Ghana – an anti-corruption project managed by FIIAPP – or the inclusion of this perspective in the activities of Euroclima+. In the end, inequality is inherent in the society in which it occurs and it influences the problems that society addresses.

     

    However, this approach is often insufficient to achieve real equality. We must go beyond the diagnosis, the indicators, to quantify how many women have benefited: “We must take advantage of cooperation projects in order to play a proactive role,” according to Dominique.

     

    Perhaps for this reason, EUROsociAL+ is one of the first programmes to create an exclusive thematic area to address this problem. A strong gender component or axis that has direct actions and a team of people exclusively dedicated to it.

     

    Cooperation is based on an exchange of experiences, which is also important for Mar Merita: “you can fight inequality by promoting examples and good practices that arise in countries”, by learning from each other.

     

    “Equality is a universal cause” and a realistic objective that, within the framework of the projects, needs public policies in order to make practical progress. Although in the end what is really important, according to the expert, is to believe in it.

     

    Listen to the programme dedicated to International Women’s Day on our space on Spanish National Radio

  • 01 February 2018

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    Peru: successful cooperation

    The project against organised crime and drug trafficking trains the institutions involved in the country

    A few weeks ago, the director for Latin America and the Caribbean at EuropeAid, Jolita Butkeviciene, tweeted that “the European Union does not impose programmes, it backs national policies; this is our way of looking at cooperation”.

     

    These statements fit perfectly with the results being achieved in the fight against organised crime and drug trafficking in Peru. This fight is being backed and supported by the European Union in an effective way through a project managed by FIIAPP, as well as additional funding amounting to 32 million euros.

     

    In 2017, our Peruvian partners, whose national policies we back and support, achieved the best ever results in the fight against organised crime. 111 criminal drug trafficking organisations were disbanded, 78 illegal runways for transporting drugs to other countries were destroyed, and 324 cocaine laboratories were burnt down, many of them identified through intelligence work. What’s more, 22,165 hectares of coca leaves were destroyed, preventing the production of up to 204.8 tonnes of cocaine. These results are  unparalleled in terms of previous years and denote a clear effort by the new Peruvian administration to improve results in this area.

     

    The project, implemented by FIIAPP, provides training and technical assistance for the main institutions that fight against organised crime and drug trafficking in this Andean country. The Peruvian participants in this project are obtaining very good results and it has been independently verified that they are successfully applying the knowledge and tools transmitted by officials from EU member states to their Peruvian counterparts.

     

    SUNAT Aduanas is one of the institutions being supported by this project, in this case in preventing contraband:

     

    Also worth mentioning is the backing and support the project has given to judicial authorities to successfully resolve big national cases linked to international organised gangs, and the achievements reached in terms of intelligence, such as the creation of the first IT system to manage information to combat organized crime in Peru (SIIETID).

     

    On-demand projects

    We live in an interconnected world and cooperation plays an essential role in resolving problems related to transnational organised crime. This influences many areas of the bi-regional European-Latin American agenda.

     

    The problem of drug trafficking must be broken down according to its type and its impact on institutions and people. There is a large difference between a drug producing country and a drug transit or a country that consumes drugs. In Latin America, drug trafficking has a direct effect on the governability of states. The enormous amounts of money moved by organised gangs can be enough to buy governmental structures and destabilise countries—sadly, there are many examples in the region. This is without mentioning the violence it generates and the damage it does to social cohesion. In Europe, there is a deep impact in terms of crime, but it remains primarily a public health issue. Two problems which are interconnected on both sides of the Atlantic.

     

    Through big bilateral projects managed by FIIAPP in Peru and Bolivia and regional projects like EL PAcCTO and COPOLAD, the EU backs policies aimed at combating organised crime and drug trafficking, problems which have such a large impact in both Latin America and Europe. This support is applied through an on-demand method, something which our Latin American partners really appreciate, who praise the EU’s horizontal rather than paternalistic way of working. This is definitely a recipe for obtaining good results.

     

    In fact, this participative working method is one of the hallmarks of the ‘soft power’ approach that characterises EU cooperation. These projects, in which knowledge is shared and long-lasting links between public administrations on both sides of the Atlantic are established, are undoubtedly the best way to achieve results which are sustainable in the long term. In fact, our project has produced contact networks that are already working on researching areas related to transnational organised crime, not only between Europe and Peru but also regionally.

     

    Public safety as a goal

    However, we cannot afford to be complacent. The fight against organised crime is polycentered and involves many challenges, such as money laundering and effective collaboration between governments. To improve the quality of life of people in many Latin American countries, we need to make progress in this area as this will have a direct impact on the safety and well-being of citizens. In 2017 alone, 25,000 people were violently killed in Mexico for reasons linked to organised crime, something which should make us think about how to support our partners in the region.

     

    Latin America is a strategic cultural and trade partner for the European Union and as such we need to a have a consistent and improved collaboration policy which helps to optimise the well-being of its population and protect the rule of law. Twenty years since its creation, there is no doubt that FIIAPP is a mature instrument that is well suited to channelling and implementing bi-regional European-Latin American cooperation projects and achieving the excellent results we are now seeing. Let’s not forget that, as outlined in the latest Elcano report, the 2016 European Global Strategy talks about a wider Atlantic space and states that the EU will try to extend cooperation and forge strong links with Latin America and the Caribbean.

     

    Due to its extensive experience and recognition in the region, the Foundation is already a key player in achieving this goal and an important ally of European institutions in empowering the State. This is exactly why we need to keep zealously promoting the results obtained by our Latin American partners. Using facts to demonstrate that as well as strengthening our counterpart institutions on the other side of the Atlantic, more importantly, these actions improve the lives of their people. 

     

     Gerard Muñoz, coordinator of the project to fight drug trafficking in Peru

     

    More information on the project in our area on Radio Nacional de España (RNE):