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2011 Annual Conference and General Assembly, Laxenburg

8th Annual_ConferenceThis year´s EPAC/EACN Annual Professional Conference and General Assembly came to a successful close on 25 November. The three-day event witnessed the participation of around 70 representatives from member police oversight bodies (POBs) and anti-corruption authorities (ACAs).

8th Annual_Conference_IIIt was hosted by the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) in Laxenburg, Austria, and was complemented by the Transparency International 2011 Integrity Awards Ceremony, open to all conference participants.

The EPAC/EACN President opened the Annual Professional Conference with a general update on recent developments related to the network. Following the opening, a keynote speech was delivered by Marin Mrčela, Vice-President of GRECO, particularly highlighting the outcome of previous evaluation rounds and the details of the one to come. At8th Annual_Conference_III the same time, delegates from the European Commission, European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Austrian Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK) and Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combatting Bureau (KNAB) delivered presentations on the latest work undertaken by their respective authorities.

8th Annual_Conference_VIn the course of the event, external speakers delivered presentations, provoking general debates on a variety of thematic issues such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption, private corruption, human rights, and procedural safeguards. The speakers included Dennis Cosgrove from the Embassy of the United States to Tajikistan, Jo Dedeyne-Amann from UNODC, Jonas Grimheden from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, Georg Huber-Grabenwarter from the Austrian Development Agency, and Richard Soyer from the University of Graz. On 23 November, the conference was also visited by H.E. Barbara Prammer, President of the Austrian National Council, accompanied by other Members of Parliament. In addressing the conference, Ms. Prammer reflected on the importance of integrity for legislators, ethical frameworks and the role of national Parliaments´ watchdog function.

During the second plenary session, the Police Oversight Principles and Anti-Corruption Authority Standards, documents of a recommendatory nature, were presented and the floor opened for final comments. Both papers, the results of relentless year-long efforts, were unanimously adopted by the General Assembly on 25 November, with the 10 Guiding Principles and Parameters on the Notion of Independence of Anti-Corruption Bodies annexed to the Anti-Corruption Authority Standards. Additionally, the General Assembly agreed on the need to continue work prior to the next annual conference, and thus decided that authorities should circulate their proposals for constituting other working groups or holding events on specific topics.

With regard to leadership, the General Assembly adopted that Martin Kreutner would remain EPAC/EACN President for another year, while Anca Jurma of the Romanian National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) would continue serving in her capacity as Vice-President of ACAs. Diane Reynders of the Belgian Standing Police Monitoring Committee (SPMC) was elected Vice-President of POBs, whereas Joachim Schwanke of the Department of Internal Investigation (DIE) will assume the position of Deputy Vice-President of ACAs.

Furthermore, Ernst Schmid is now the new EPAC/EACN contact point and Head of Secretariat, following Gerlinde Wambacher´s change of employment.On a final note, the Internal Security Directorate of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior and the Romanian National Integrity Agency were welcomed as new EPAC members. The conference closed with the adoption of the Laxenburg Declaration. Upon the invitation of the Catalonian Anti-Fraud Office, next year´s Annual Professional Conference and General Assembly will convene in Barcelona, Spain.

 

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