08 June 2018
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|
Posteado en : Reportage
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.
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.
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|
Posteado en : Opinion
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).
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):
23 November 2017
Mariano Simancas, Chief Commissioner and Head of the International Cooperation Division with the National Police, tells us about the challenges, results and projects in this area that the force is working on, in collaboration with FIIAPP
Guaranteeing security is one of the most important challenges at the international level. What are, in your opinion, the most relevant issues or areas for the Police to address in relation to international cooperation?
Spain maintains its interest in fighting against all forms of terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration, as well as against related crimes: human trafficking, document forgery and money laundering. Although it is equally important to emphasise that we are part of the European Union and it is the European Police Agency (EUROPOL) which, after consulting the Member States, establishes the priorities through its reports: SOCTA and TE-SAT, the keys to establishing national policies.
In addition, the advance of jihadist terrorism has meant a substantial change in work dynamics in terms of international cooperation and the transformation of collaboration procedures.
Where do you think there is a need for projects in which the police can participate? In which areas and in which countries?
Following on from this, at present the police will be interested in participating in any cooperation project that fights against terrorism, illegal immigration, organised crime and related crimes. Right now the key region, where many of these phenomena occur, is Africa. Without forgetting what has already been undertaken in the Ibero-American region, where several successful projects have been carried out.
What are the challenges for international police cooperation?
The Treaty of Lisbon introduced an interesting perspective: the “integrated approach”, according to which the EU’s work and initiatives are no longer formulated in a closed, linear manner, they now involve different cross-cutting tasks and synergies between different actors.
This approach requires that, in police or judicial matters, other perspectives such as social or educational perspectives be observed, which will consolidate the desired stability, but it also forces us to work jointly with different bodies.
Can you highlight the results and impact of an international cooperation project on which you have worked?
We are very satisfied with the participation of the National Police in many projects, which demonstrates its excellent collaboration with FIIAPP, but I would highlight the work of AMERIPOL. What initially started as an EU sponsored project to exchange data on drug trafficking, has continued growing with the support of different countries in Ibero-America, leading to the development of the Ameripol National Units, as well as the use of SIPA (Police Information Exchange System for AMERIPOL). We expect further development and growth similar to that of EUROPOL.
The police is currently working on a wide range of challenges, such as those that affect the environment. What are your thoughts on the projects that deal with chemical and biological CBRN threats?
The European Union is showing increasing interest in environmental crime: illicit trafficking, illegal logging, arson or illicit discharges. The eighth round of mutual evaluations has started within this European framework. It will assess the extent to which Community legislation and the measures taken by the different Member States are sufficient to deal with issues related to illegal trafficking, and it will also make appropriate recommendations.
Another threat the police technicians are working to combat is drug trafficking and organised crime, what are the major advances that can be highlighted in this area thanks to international cooperation projects?
The National Police has been working intensively for many years to combat criminal groups and organisations, which has provided us with an excellent understanding of their progress towards models specialising in financial engineering and with precise transactions on the internet using new technologies. Obviously these new circumstances influence the work the police undertakes, and they make it much more focused and specialised, so that is why we have been moving in this direction lately.
The trafficking of arms and people are also global phenomena, what are the main challenges at the police level?
The policing of both of these kinds of criminal activities has political support from the highest levels of the European Union and the Spanish Directorate General of the Police.
Arms trafficking has been tackled within the Criminal Policy Cycle as an Operational Action Plan, which will cover 2018 and 2019. Spain has led this initiative and achieved some spectacular results. One example is Operation PORTU, which took place earlier this year in the province of Biscay. It resulted in the seizure of more than eight thousand firearms ready for sale to terrorists and organised crime groups.
In terms of human trafficking, the strategic objective is to minimise the damage caused by this social scourge. From the publicity campaigns, such as the one launched a few years ago “Con la trata no hay trato” (which roughly translates as zero tolerance for human trafficking), to the special focus on dismantling organisations involved in this phenomenon, in which the international cooperation component is key. I can state that it is one of the highest priorities for the police.
The police has been working with FIIAPP for almost twenty years. How would you assess FIIAPP’s work in these areas, and the collaboration between both institutions around the world?
I can only express how pleased I am with it. The collaboration between FIIAPP and the National Police has been efficiently managed for many years. This cooperation has resulted in the implementation of numerous projects: from twinnings with EU candidate countries to the management of Internal Security Fund programmes, or more recently the Trust Fund that allocates large amounts of money to projects linked to illegal immigration, mainly in Africa. In all these cases, FIIAPP has been a solid and reliable travelling companion.
I am fully aware that the management of funds is not an easy task, and in this case, the Foundation gives us the necessary support to push forward with all the international cooperation initiatives that interest us. We hope to be able to count on this support in the years ahead, and to strengthen this relationship of mutual trust that allows us to make progress in the specialisation and improvement of the service that the National Police provides.
09 May 2017|
Posteado en : Reportage
At FIIAPP we join the celebration of Europe Day under the motto of "United in Diversity"
Why do we celebrate Europe Day on 9 May?
In 1950, five years after the end of World War II, the countries of Europe still had not recovered from the consequences of the two world wars and feared the prospect of a third one. To avoid it, their governments reached the conclusion that the best option was to create an economic alliance around the main raw materials, coal and steel, which would make war improbable.
One of the first people to state this position was Robert Schuman, the French minister of foreign affairs. In 1950, he gave a speech that laid the groundwork for this union, which would later be called the ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community), the embryo of the current European Union. This speech given on 9 May 1950 is remembered as the Schuman Declaration, and it gave rise to the celebration of Europe Day.
European values in the work of FIIAPP
We at FIIAPP, as a foundation that manages European funds from the External Action Plan, join this celebration and embrace the motto of the European Union: “United in Diversity”.
FIIAPP’s Director of Management Systems and Procedures, Agustín Fernandez, stresses the importance of these European values in the work of the foundation: “in the 100 plus countries where FIIAPP works, we do not impose the will of Europe, nor does Europe wish to impose its policies or values. Europe is liberty. Rather it is the partner countries that Europe works with who want to learn about these values and these policies that have enabled such diverse countries to live in peace and harmony and with great economic and social prosperity. One of the purposes of FIIAPP is to disseminate the best practices of these European policies through the projects it manages.”
“Europe is diverse, it is large, it is different, and that enriches us. But it is also a Europe that shares a set of common values, and through FIIAPP and Spanish cooperation we encourage and work to defend these values that unite us and identify us as Europeans.
Europe Day activities
Over the course of the week, there is an extensive agenda of activities distributed by the member countries of the European Union and the different European institutions, with Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg being the key spots for these events. The different European institutions (European Parliament, European Commission, Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, etc.) celebrate open days in which citizens can visit the facilities and see how they operate first hand.
23 December 2016
FIIAPP manages this type of EU-funded projects.
The first Twinnings began in May, 1998, when the countries of Eastern Europe entered Europe to make them better prepared for the enlargement of the European Union.
It is a specific type of project in which Spain occupies third place in the European Union in terms of the budget implemented, and fourth in projects won. Specifically, Spain implements 10% of the projects that circulate.
To better understand their purpose and the types of projects that exist, we talked to Rafael Rodríguez-Ponga, National Contact Point for Twinnings at Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
What are the European Union’s Twinning programmes?
The Twinning programmes of the European Commission are institutional cooperation programmes that are funded by the European Commission from the EU external action budget.
They represent a very particular type of funding. Specifically, they are from public administration to public administration. They must be implemented by and for agencies that are part of, or are themselves, public administrations, and they are managed by civil servants.
They are also results-oriented, which means that the two parties, both the administration that wins the project and the beneficiary administration, commit to achieving a series of results in a contract signed in advance.
Furthermore the defining feature of Twinnings is that the two parties, in addition to making a commitment, work together.
How do they function?
Well, a civil servant from the administration that wins the project relocates temporarily to the site of the other administration for one to two years, depending on the Twinning, and helps the civil servants there develop, work on and promote European Union legislation.
What is the purpose of Twinnings?
It´s cooperation between the different administrations. It’s to improve the administrative capacities of other beneficiary countries. It’s to bring these beneficiaries up to European standards so that they function increasingly better.
And it’s to export our experience, our working methods and our fundamental values, such as democracy or human rights. It’s to bring these neighbours closer to the EU acquis. In all sectors, from the justice sector, which is generally the one with the most Twinnings, to finance, energy, structural funds, consumer protection, etc.
Could you give us an example of a project FIIAPP is participating in?
We have a Twinning in Algeria for setting up a Directorate-General of Traffic (DGT), as no organisation currently exists there to regulate this area. So we have sent a civil servant from Spain’s DGT to Algeria to help set up a DGT over the next two years, and to look at how to improve traffic and reduce traffic deaths in that country.