On 18 November 2014, the European Commission in co-operation with the Directorate General of Community Funds, the General Comptroller of the State Administration and Transparency International Spain organised the seminar titled ‘Anti-fraud and Anti-corruption Measures in European Structural and Investment Funds‘. The seminar aimed to: reinforce awareness of legal requirements concerning fraud prevention and risk management in relation to the ESI funds; present guidance and new tools developed by the EC to support Member States; discuss risk assessment and management of public procurement; and exchange information and share good practices from across the EU. Key speakers were invited from the EU anti-fraud office OLAF, European Commission DG Regional and Urban Policy, DG Home Affairs, and DG Employment. In addition, speakers were invited from academia, civil society and the national public sector. Professor Manuel Villoria (Associate Expert at Blomeyer & Sanz) delivered a speech during the closing plenary session on what is needed for an effective whistleblowing system against corruption in Spain.
We attended the seminar due to our specific interest in the EU’s Cohesion Policy and evaluation work on the performance of the different funds. In addition, the seminar’s thematic focus on anti-corruption in public procurement falls in line with our work for DG Home’s network of Local Research Correspondents on Corruption and research conducted by our firm in 2013 for the European Parliament Committee for Budgetary Control.