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17th Annual Professional Conference and General Assembly

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The 17th Annual Professional Conference and General Assembly was held in Lisbon on 15-17 November 2017. Almost 160 delegates representing more than 30 member states had fruitful discussions on latest developments, elected two new Vice-Presidents, and adopted the 2017 Lisbon Declaration. The conference was co-financed by the European Union's Internal Security Fund - Police.

The conference was opened by Mr. Eduardo Cabrita, Portugal’s Minister of the Interior, Mr. Andreas Wieselthaler, President of the EPAC/EACN Network and Director of the Austrian Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK), and Ms. Margarida Blasco, Head of the Portuguese Inspectorate General of Home Affairs (IGAI). The Portuguese IGAI generously hosted this year's conference, providing a stimulating environment for the delegates.

Several plenary sessions addressed critical issues such as developments at international and European level, measurement of corruption, admissibility of electronic evidence and CCTV, misuse of databases by police officers, integrity and anti-corruption efforts, and breach of official secrecy. During plenary session 1, in particular, the delegates received updates from high ranking and senior representatives of the European Commission, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the OECD Working Group on Bribery, Europol, and the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI).

On the second day of the conference, two parallel workshops provided ample opportunities for participants to exchange experiences with their peers from Anti-Corruption Authorities (ACAs) and Police Oversight Bodies (POBs). In particular, an ACA workshop was held on the subject of money and politics entitled “Protecting the political life against corruption and integrity violations”, and, simultaneously, a POB workshop named “Auditing police processes”. During plenary session 5, moderators summarized and briefly presented findings and results of discussions held at both workshops to the plenary.

On the last day of the conference, the results of the EPAC/EACN Working Groups (WG) were presented; the Working Groups had operated independently of the annual conferences throughout the years. In particular, the WG on Risk Analysis and Risk Management, headed by Ms. Martina Koger, Head of the Department of Prevention, Education and International Cooperation, Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK), Austria, was both opened and concluded in 2017 and issued the “Integrity Risk Management Guideline for ACAs and POBs”. Furthermore, the interim outcome of the WG on Big Data, headed by Ms. Rūta Kaziliūnaitė, EPAC/EACN Deputy Vice President and Deputy Head of the Administration Department of the Special Investigation Service (STT), Lithuania, was presented to the audience. This WG has been active in 2017 and will convene again in Bucharest in 2018. Ms. Dominique Devos-Cavier, General Controller of the General Inspectorate of the French National Police (IGPN), headed the EPAC/EACN POB Working Group, which was created in 2016 and continued their work in 2017. She presented the final version of the “Handbook for evaluating the effectiveness/efficiency of police oversight bodies” which was prepared by this WG.

At the General Assembly that ensued, the delegates expressed their sincere thanks for the work of Ms. Anca Jurma (ACA) and Ms. Dominique Devos (POB), whose mandates as Vice-Presidents of the respective networks expired. Newly elected Vice-Presidents Mati Ombler, Head of the Estonian Corruption Crimes Bureau, for the ACA strand, and Jack Vissers, Belgian Standing Police Monitoring Committee, for the POB strand, will now support the respective strands with their experience.

The General Assembly also agreed to a newly designed EPAC/EACN Logo, accepted the Agence française anticorruption (AFA) and the Haute Autorité pour la transparence de la vie publique (HATVP) as full members, and finally adopted the Lisbon Declaration. (Please find the wording of the Lisbon Declaration here and the complete programme of the conference here.)


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