The 22nd Annual Professional Conference and General Assembly of the European Partners against Corruption (EPAC) and European contact-point network against corruption (EACN) were held in Dublin on November 2 and 3, 2023. The conference marked the adoption of the Dublin Declaration and the election of Mr. Linas Pernavas, Director of Lithuania's Special Investigation Service (STT), as the new President of the EPAC/EACN Board, while the other Board members were re-elected for a second term.
The EPAC/EACN conference, held in Ireland for the first time, was organized by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, the Policing Authority, the Garda Inspectorate, and the Department of Justice. It attracted nearly 200 participants from over 100 institutions in more than 30 different countries and jurisdictions.
Speakers from the European Commission, European Public Prosecutor's Office, European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EUROPOL), European Anti-Fraud’s Office (OLAF) and national anti-corruption and police oversight institutions provided their insights and experience on relevant topics. This year's Conference focused on four main themes, which included Whistleblowing, Gender-Based Violence committed by state actors, Safeguarding the EU's financial interests, and Addressing Emerging Challenges in Corruption Investigations and Police Oversight.
The conference also featured the presentation of the EPAC/EACN award for the most innovative anti-corruption initiative, which was awarded to the Polish Central Anti-Corruption Bureau for their project 'ABC Integrity' this year.
At the general assembly, the following members of the EPAC/EACN Board were elected for a 2 years term:
- President: Mr. Linas PERNAVAS, Director of Special Investigation Service (STT), Lithuania
- Vice-President (Anti-Corruption Strand): Mr. Ernst SCHMID, Head of Department, Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK), Austria
- Deputy Vice-President (Anti-Corruption Strand): Mr. Traian Mihăiţă BÂRLICI, Head of the Prevention Directorate in the Anti-corruption General Directorate (DGA), Romania
- Vice-President (Police Oversight Strand): Ms. Lucile ROLLAND, Deputy Head of the French National Police General Inspectorate (IGPN), France
- Deputy Vice-President (Police Oversight Strand): Mr. Hugh HUME, Commissioner of the Irish Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), Ireland
In addition, the Dublin Declaration as the final document of the conference, was adopted by the General Assembly. This Declaration will be widely circulated by the EPAC/EACN members in their respective countries and submitted to relevant EU institutions and bodies, the Council of Europe's GRECO, the OECD WGB, and UNODC.
The General Assembly also approved five new members as part of the networks, bringing the total number of anti-corruption and police oversight bodies from 38 European countries who are members of EPAC and/or EACN to 109.
- the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Georgia,
- the Special Investigation Service of Georgia,
- the Hungarian Integrity Authority,
- the Andalusian Anti Fraud Office of Spain and
- the Asset Recovery and Management Agency of Ukraine
Particular thanks were expressed to Mr. Žydrūnas Bartkus, the former STT Director, who served as a President of EPAC/EACN from December 2021 to March 2023.
The EPAC/EACN Secretariat thanks all participants and contributors and is already looking forward to the next annual conference in 2024.