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12th Annual Conference, Barcelona

Barcelona ConferenceEPAC/EACN’s Annual Professional Conference and General Assembly came to a close on 23 November with the election of a new President and the adoption of the Barcelona Declaration.

The General Assembly unanimously elected Giovanni Kessler, Director General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) as EPAC/EACN’s new President. “Next year, the European Commission will launch an analysis of anti-corruption standards in all countries, and the participation of this network in preparing an associated draft regulation is of most importance”, President Kessler indicated in his opening statement. “This draft regulation will be a major breakthrough for both the rule of law and police oversight”, he added.

Martin Kreutner, who had served as President of the network from 2009 to 2012 and (Co-) Chair from 2004 to 2009, stepped down from his position due to other professional obligations, stating that it was time to hand over the leadership and allow for additional ownership. The Assembly unanimously elected him honorary member for life for his outstanding contributions. Martin Kreutner was one of EPAC/EACN’s founding fathers, having brought it from an informal association to a well-respected, independent network comprising authorities from 33 European states and the European Commission.

The General Assembly also unanimously elected Anthony Duggan, Director of Administration of Ireland’s Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, as Deputy Vice President for Police Oversight. The mandates of Anca Jurma, Diane Reynders, and Joachim Schwanke, all elected by the 2011 General Assembly, will remain in effect until 2013. Furthermore, the General Assembly unanimously accepted the request by the Danish Independent Police Compaints Authority (DIPCA), for membership in EPAC.

The Annual Professional Conference took place from 21 to 23 November in Barcelona, Spain, generously hosted by the Mossos d’Esquadra and Anti-Fraud Office of Catalonia. It brought together close to 100 members of anti-corruption authorities and police oversight bodies from 30 European states as well as OLAF.

The conference was opened by Martin Kreutner, Daniel de Alfonso Laso, Director of the Anti-Fraud Office of Catalonia, and Antoni Capell, Commissioner of the Mossos d’Esquarda. Anna Myers, former Deputy Director of Public Concern at Work UK, delivered a presentation on the challenges of the protection of the whistleblower. Neil Richards, former Police Ethics Expert with the Council of Europe, spokeof policing's noble cause and the threat of corruption, while Christian Manquet, Vice President of GRECO, informed delegates on the developments and goals of the 4th GRECO Evaluation Round.

Martin Kreutner announced that the Anti-Corruption Authority Standards and Police Oversight Principles, unanimously adopted by the General Assembly last November, were circulated and well-received by international community. They have been recognized by a number of organizations including the United Nations and GRECO, and have been explicitly mentioned in the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities’ (IAACA) Kuala Lumpur Declaration and the UNDP/UNODC Jakarta Statement on Principles for Anti-Corruption Agencies.

In the anti-corruption strand, a workshop on the advance use of modern information technologies to fight corruption was held by Mitja Jermol, Head of the Centre for Knowledge Transfer at the Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Gaber Cerle, Director of OurSpace, Slovenia and three other expertst. The topic is part of a large-scale project which will expand to the EU level. It was first presented in the framework of the Romanian Anti-Corruption Directorate’s (DNA) seminar in Bucharest this June, and another working group is expected in 2013, coordinated by the DNA and the Slovenian Commission for the Prevention of Corruption.

As for the police oversight strand, a workshop on policing in urban areas was organized by Diane Reynders, Vice President of EPAC/EACN, other members of the Belgian Committee P. and Professor Elke Devroe from the University of Leiden. The workshop was also based on the exchange of experiences, with Ireland, Finland, Hungary and Serbia elaborating on the mechanisms they have put into place. The workshop found the necessity of developing a comprehensive approach based on a well-defined, consistent integrity policy and an organizational culture to ensure its application. A workshop report will be circulated by the Committee P.

EPAC/EACN’s 12th Annual Professional Conference and General Assembly concluded with the adoption of the Barcelona Declaration, with members reaffirming their commitment to anti-corruption, police oversight and a proactive approach to international cooperation. Upon the generous invitation of the Polish member authorities, the General Assembly unanimously adopted to hold next year’s conference in Krakow, Poland.

Conference Documents

icon Conference Programme

icon Barcelona Declaration 2012

icon Plenary Session I: Anna Myers Presentation

icon Anti-Corruption Workshop: Cerle & Jermol

icon Anti-Corruption Workshop: Mitja Jermol Presentation

icon Anti-Corruption Workshop: Leto Peel Presentation

icon Anti-Corruption Workshop: Andreas Harth Presentation

icon Police Oversight Workshop: Elke Devroe

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