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 es 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.
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
20 June 2019
The French Ambassador to Bolivia, Denis Gaillard, talks about the country and the project to fight drug trafficking and related crimes in Bolivia
The project, managed by FIIAPP and financed by the European Union, AECID and FIIAPP, includes the participation of Spanish and French specialists from the Civil Guard, the National Police, judges, prosecutors and institutions managed by CIVIPOL, such as the Gendarmerie.
What is the strategic importance of Bolivia to France and the European Union?
All of Latin America is important for France because there is a strong cultural and intellectual relationship between us, and we are all Latin countries, so we have much in common. In Latin America as a whole, Bolivia has a very specific role because it is a country where France has a major presence.
There is a close relationship between the two countries, and we are very happy to be able to help this country which is in a very difficult economic and social situation, being the poorest country in Latin America.
So, it is a country with problems, but it is trying to face them. We are happy to help them.
What would you highlight about French and European cooperation in Bolivia?
It is very important that European cooperation takes into account what each country does. There is very good cooperation and close coordination among the European Union and the actions of Member States.
What is special about Bolivia?
In relation to the economy, it is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, but it also has the highest growth, so there is hope that things will change. Last year there was a lot of progress in education, health and infrastructure, where there were many very positive changes. It is never enough, but there were some major developments.
Regarding politics, general elections for the presidency and parliament are scheduled for October; this will be an important moment for dialogue and democratic participation. So we are anxiously waiting for that moment.
Do you think that Bolivia is a unique country in Latin America?
That’s right. Bolivia and Paraguay are the only countries that are landlocked. They have no access to the sea, and this puts them in a peculiar situation.
And it is also pluri-national – it comprises several communities, mostly of indigenous people – making it very special. In addition, its policies are adapted to this situation and taken into account, which is very positive and important.
What do you think the project contributes to the country?
Drug trafficking is important for the entire region, not just this country. So it is vital for the country to address this problem very seriously and with a lot of dedication. We are pleased to be able to participate and be partners in a project to fight drug trafficking and related crimes in Bolivia. This project enables us to fight drug trafficking effectively, by applying joint strategies drawing on many services from the Bolivian institutions that are also involved in the project. It is also important to have a communication network for these services. I believe that this project has helped to promote dialogue and collaboration, to ensure that they work together effectively.
What is the strategic importance of Bolivia to France and the European Union?
All of Latin America is important for France because there is a strong cultural and intellectual relationship between us, and we are all Latin countries, so we have much in common. In Latin America as a whole Bolivia has a very specific role because it is a country where France has a major presence.
There is a close relationship between the two countries, and we are very happy to be able to help this country which is in a very difficult economic and social situation, being the poorest country in Latin America. It was the poorest country in Latin America, so it is a country that has problems, but it is trying to face them. We are happy to help them.
What importance do you think French and European cooperation have in Bolivia?
It is very important that European cooperation takes into account what each country does. There is very good cooperation and close coordination among the European Union and the actions of Member States.
What do you think of the efforts being made by Bolivian institutions to reduce drug trafficking and related crimes?
I think there is real dedication. Bolivia is in a somewhat unusual situation due to the traditional use of coca. But, taking this issue into account, the country is strongly committed to fighting against drug trafficking, which is a tragedy for people doomed to rely on this as their only means of survival. So there is a real effort, but it is never enough. The borders are difficult to control and the traffickers are quick to react – when they cannot get through one way, they look for a different route.
A constant and comprehensive strategy is essential. And that is why the European Union’s help is necessary, and what this project is about.
What achievements would you highlight from the project?
The dialogue is the most obvious result of the first phase, which will be completed this year, 2019. There has been a lot of collaboration, and not only among the Bolivian services responsible for fighting drug trafficking. Contacts have also been established with other countries in the region to share information. Drug trafficking is not just a domestic problem, it is also a regional problem for Latin America and an international problem for Europe and Spain, which is the port of entry for drugs into our continent.
We are also very pleased that this programme is being related to other activities that already exist, such as everything that the United Nations is doing on alternative crops to drugs.
Do you believe that a second phase of the project will be necessary?
I think so, firstly because the first phase always starts a little slowly. You have get to know one another, understand how you all work, who is in charge of what … We have reached the end of the first phase and it would be a shame to leave things half finished. So it is very important that we have a second phase and that this second phase starts soon, so that there isn’t even a momentary breakdown. It is important that we keep the same dynamic; this means that we would be able to start immediately with a very effective group.
How do you think the results will contribute to improving the quality of life for the public?
We have to achieve a change in the lives of the people involved in the drugs trade. They have to have another way to work and survive. Bolivia is more a country of transit than of consumption, so this has a direct impact on the local population.
There are other countries in the region – such as Chile or Argentina – where consumption is developing a lot, so those countries have a different problem of helping people who are involved in drug use.
Here, the main problem is the drug transit and the economic activity surrounding it. We have to see see how we can change the economic situation and give the people other options.
30 May 2019
We interviewed Jérémie Pellet, general director of cooperation agency Expertise France, FIIAPP's partner in numerous projects and a member of the Practitioners' Network
What is Expertise France? What is its job?
Expertise France is the French public international cooperation agency. It was created in 2015 by merging several operators together. It works in four major fields; in the field of democratic governance: economic and financial; in the field of peace, security and stability; in the field of human development: education, health, social protection; and in the field of sustainable development: climate, agriculture and energy.
Why is the joint work of institutions like the FIIAPP and EF so important?
Expertise France and the FIIAPP are institutions that share the same objective: to support public policies and support the development of the countries of the south with a good governance plan. So, we already work together on many projects. Nowadays, Expertise France and the FIIAPP share a dozen projects. We strive to be an allied actor in Europe. So, we seek to collaborate with agencies like us, capable of mobilising expertise in different countries, particularly public expertise, our main reason for being, both of the FIIAPP, in Spain and Expertise France, in France.
What are the advantages and drawbacks of working together?
To start with, the advantages of working together are that our approach is not only national but also European, with different ways of working and, obviously, this is extremely advantageous, since we require European funding, and theEuropean Commission is very interested in international development agencies working together.
The drawbacks are, essentially, coordination difficulties because everyone has their way of working and procedures. One thing we can certainly do to improve is to work on this issue to make coordination more fluid and effective.
How do you think France contributes to these projects? And Spain?
Both France and Spain have numerous cooperation projects, which account for an important part of their international activity and their diplomatic activity in matters of international cooperation. They have worldwide geographies whose priorities are not necessarily the same due to historical differences. Spanish international cooperation focuses mainly on Latin American policies, whereas French international cooperation is more involved in helping the poorest African countries mainly in West Africa. However, this does not alter the fact that we now face global climate, security and development issues that need support in different parts of the world. Ultimately, we complement each other because we each contribute what we know best as well as our cooperation expertise.
How valuable is the European cooperation network, the Practitioners’ Network, to European cooperation?
Practitioners’ Network is a body that brings together European Union state agencies involved in delegated and cooperation fund management. It is now the recognised interlocutor for the European Commission. The proof is that we and the Commission have entered into a very important association agreement between the Commission and each Member State agency, to make these agencies the primary delegated management agents for the European funds. It is now an acknowledged body with real technical competence, which is obviously valuable for the agencies as well as for the European Commission, which has a partner to which it can address such issues.
I believe that our main value and the work we have already undertaken and that which still needs to be accomplished is to further strengthen coordination between the agencies in the Practitioners’ Network. Because we will be effective, among ourselves, and will be capable of showing the European Commission that working with Member States’ agencies is an added value.
In my opinion, the European Commission expects us to be able to show that we are really effective, which is why I believe that the network of the Practitioners’ Network should continue to develop good practices, standardising agencies and establishing new procedures.
16 May 2019
Rafael Ríos, coordinator of A-TIPSOM: the fight against people trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria, explains how he has been adapting to the country, what his daily routine is like, and what it is like to work as a FIIAPP expatriate.
How long have you been in Nigeria? How have you adapted to this country?
I arrived on 16 July 2018. When you arrive in a new country, as you can imagine, it is not always easy. I remember hearing about other projects, from other colleagues who had been in or were in other countries, who said “the beginning is always the hardest”. For me this has been a bit simpler, or less complicated, and I’ll tell you why. In this country we already had the embassy staff, and they helped us with everything from the outset, arriving in the country, accreditations, looking for accommodation, the office, etc. We spent almost four months in a small office that they kindly lent us until we were able to move. I wish you could count on this kind of support every time you started a project.
What has been the most difficult aspect to adapt to, and the easiest?
The hardest part was perhaps the second week. During the first week everything is frenetic, you have so many things on your plate… But the second week was like coming back down to Earth. That’s when I really started to realize where I was, and the step that I’d taken. Such a long project with so many important challenges. The easiest thing was perhaps meeting people, dealing with the Nigerians, who I think are happy people who enjoy their country and who, in general, welcome newcomers quite readily.
Is this your first experience outside of Spain?
No, it’s not. Belonging to the National Police gives you opportunities like this, discovering other countries and destinations, doing what you enjoy and what you know best. Previously I’d done different jobs in African countries, on short-term missions in Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, as well as in Europe, in Italy to be precise.
In light of this, is this proving to be very different to your previous missions?
The concept behind this mission is quite different. This one is long-term and involves a permanent deployment in another country plus working as an expert for FIIAPP . It’s something else entirely, and it’s a big professional challenge for me, since what we are trying to achieve with this project is very alluring, and at the same time very ambitious .
What is your work like, your daily routine?
Honestly, I think it’s not that different. Here, because of the hot weather, you get up and start work quite early. We get to the office, have meetings, go out to the different places we need to visit as part of the project. Usually we have lunch at the office and return home in mid-afternoon.
Is it very different from the routine you had in Spain?
As I said, it is a job that requires a lot of contact with one’s counterparts,which means you are often out of the office, and I find that quite interesting.
What is your relationship like with the FIIAPP team in Madrid?
Great! I would say that, in addition to having a great professional relationship, we talk every day, we share ideas, etc. We have even created bonds that are enabling us to achieve better results in the project, of that I am sure.
And with your colleagues in Nigeria?
The same. Several months on, the team in the field has been growing, with Nigerian personnel, which helps us a lot to understand their way of working, what they’re like, their customs.
How would you assess your experience of working as a FIIAPP expatriate?
It is very positive so far. I think it is helping me to understand how an institution like FIIAPP copes with so many projects and with the scope of the work it does. The training, its structure and its values are enabling me to acquire knowledge. When you belong to an institution like the National Police, sometimes you focus so much on your professional life that you do not realize how work is done elsewhere, so the project is helping to train me both professionally and personally .
Do you have any experiences or anecdotes about your arrival in or adaptation to the country?
Well, I could tell you several, but I’ll just say that I like saying good morning and learning new words in a dialect called Hausa, and in the building where we work I usually see two young people who like to teach me words like that: good morning, let’s go, go ahead… and it makes them laugh when they hear me pronounce them… Inakwana, which means good morning, is part of the day-to-day.
11 April 2019|
Posteado en : Opinion
José Manuel Colodrás is a Chief Inspector of Police and Project Coordinator in Ukraine
The project is funded by the and managed by FIIAPP. It is run in five regions that cover what has been called the “Heroin Route”, though in reality there is more than one route involved. Ukraine is the priority country in the Eastern European region.
The aim of the EU-ACT project in Ukraine is to promote an all-encompassing approach to the problem of drugs: to support the work of the institutions responsible for strengthening law enforcement while favouring demand control. Accordingly, the scope of work of EU-ACT covers different sectors of the Ukrainian Public Administration and civil society. A fact easily attested to by simply pointing to the “registered” beneficiaries before the Government of Ukraine: , the Drug Observatory, the Medication and Drug Control Service, the State Tax Service, the and within this the , the Office, the Ukraine Administration of Justice Service, the , the and the of Ukraine.
As stated in its Description of Action (DoA), this project takes an innovative approach to establishing its activities by paying heed to the needs expressed by its beneficiaries. So much so that an agreement was reached with them on the main areas of development of the project in the Ukraine, which are the following:
(2013-2020) and the Action Plan (2018-2020) that develops this strategy in which the EU-ACT project has participated in the design phase highlighting, among other activities, support for the participation of the Ukrainian Delegation in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( ), both at the 61st session (2018) and the 62nd session (2019). Moreover, continuous advice and support has been given in all those legal initiatives related to drug policy. In this regard, the following measures are particularly worthy of mention: regulation of the use of Naloxone to avoid deaths by overdose, the decriminalisation of the possession of small quantities of drugs for self-consumption, the extending of the powers of the Ukraine Drug Observatory and the establishment of alternative measures to prison for minor offences related to drug use.
Furthermore, the project also participates in the initiative and the development of the National Rehabilitation Programme for prisoners with mental and behavioural disorders caused by the consumption of psychoactive substances. This activity is developed in collaboration with the Ukraine Prison Service.
In addition, backing is being given to the creation of an Investigation Coordination Centre for crimes related to drug trafficking between the different Ukraine police agencies, which represents a first step in implementing an intelligence model in the Ukraine that will allow policy makers to make evidence-based decisions. To this end, the best practice or model to be followed has been chosen: the (CITCO) which is attached to
On the initiative of the Ukrainian Public Prosecutor’s Office and with the support of the Ukraine Regional Office, the EU-ACT project launched the Network of Black Sea Public Prosecutors in September 2018 in the city of Odessa (Ukraine), which has already brought together public prosecutors from Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Ukraine.
The EU-ACT project also supports the integration of Ukrainian administrations into European Union institutions, as well as other supranational organisations. These include the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addictions , the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes or the Paris Pact Initiative (PPI).
With respect to the fight against the illegal trafficking of psychoactive substances, criminal organisation leaders are being deprived of the gains obtained from their criminal activity as this is the only way to obtain a relevant and prolonged impact against this activity. The EU-ACT Regional Office together with the Ukraine Intelligence Unit and all the agencies responsible for strengthening the enforcement of the law of Ukraine is developing a method adapted to the country to carry out financial investigations in parallel to the traditional ones in this area.
One of the objectives of EU-ACT is to strengthen the inter- and intra–regional cooperation of the countries in which the project is carried out, thus backing the joint investigation work of Ukrainian police forces and prosecutors with other countries, while at the same time encouraging the exchange of experts between countries, both under the project itself and within the context of the programme.