New collaboration with the Fundación Carlos de Amberes, April 2017

In April 2017, the Fundación Carlos de Amberes and Blomeyer & Sanz signed a collaboration agreement. With this collaboration, we aim to support the Foundation in promoting and developing international and European research programmes and activities, as well as promoting cultural exchange between Spain, France and the Benelux countries.

Together with the Foundation’s Centro de Investigación y Debate, we aim to strengthen knowledge and understanding of public policy in the EU and explore synergies between good governance practices adopted in different EU Member States.

We look forward to a fruitful collaboration. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Presentation at the Foundation Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, June 2015

banner-01-XXVISeminarioOn 9 June 2015, Mike Beke presented at the XXVI Permanent Seminar on Public Administration and Economy organised by the Foundation Ortega y Gasset and Transparency International Spain. The seminar was held in Madrid and was titled ‘Transparency and Integrity: challenges for the public and private sector in Spain’. The President of the Transparency Council in Spain, Ms Esther Arizmendi inaugurated the event and launched the debate by outlining the challenges the Council is facing in order to implement the Spanish Law on Transparency, Access to Information and Good Government. After this, Ms Paloma Baena (OECD), Mr Luis de Sousa (TIAC-Portugal) and Mr Jermyn Brooks (Transparency International) laid out comparatives perspectives on transparency and integrity from the private and public sector. The third panel focused on the role of civil society and the private sector in promoting Open Government. During this session, Mike Beke discussed the use of Integrity Pacts as a tool to fight corruption in public procurement. The final panel consisted of experts on compliance from academia and the private sector.

More information on the seminar can be found here.

Seminar on anti-corruption measures in European Structural and Investment Funds, November 2014

image002On 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.

Research project on “real” levels of corruption in Spain, 2014

Mike Beke (Blomeyer & Sanz) is participating in the research team for a project led by the University King Juan Carlos and funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy (2012-2015). The project is directed by Professor Manuel Villoria and is titled: ‘Spain’s institutional framework against corruption: Is the repression of corruption in Spain effective?’. Among its objectives is to study the system of detecting, investigating and sanctioning of corrupt acts in Spain and various countries such as Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. In Spain there is currently a lack of quantitative data on the judicial corruption processes under way, on how many of them ended in conviction and on how sanctions are executed. The study aims to gather better information on the “real” levels of corruption in Spain, develop a better understanding of the causes of the problem, the effect of corruption on perception and improve knowledge on how to fight it. 
 
The project’s team consists of researchers coming from, inter alia, the University of Murcia, Malaga and Autónoma of Madrid (Spain), Baltimore and Rider University (US), University of Bologna (Italy), Catholic University of Lovaine (Belgium), and the Deutsche Hochschule für Verwaltungswissenschaften (Germany). Mike Beke will primarily support with case-study work on prosecution of corruption in the Netherlands. 

Lecture at Saint Louis University in Madrid, October 2014

IMG_5372On 16 October, Mike Beke (Blomeyer & Sanz) gave a lecture to students of the Saint Louis University (Madrid Campus) titled: ‘Misplaced trust: political corruption in Europe’. The lecture introduced the students to concepts and debates on corruption by using findings coming from the first EU Anti-corruption Report and the Eurobarometer Special Survey on Corruption. Mike also reflected on recent developments in Spain with regard to anti-corruption. He highlighted that past and current corruption scandals in the country result in very low levels of public trust, lack of willingness among political parties to collaborate, and the rise of new political movements aiming to reshape Spain’s political landscape. Nonetheless, some of Spain’s public institutions and public officials (police, tax inspectors, public attorneys and judges) steadily and effectively continue to fight corruption resulting in more investigations, prosecutions and sanctions.

TACOD national stakeholders meeting in Madrid, May 2014

logosOn May 14th, Blomeyer & Sanz hosted at the European Commission Representation in Madrid a national stakeholders meeting in light of the TACOD project. The meeting was organised in collaboration with the University Institute Ortega y Gasset and incorporated in their XXV Permanent Seminar on Public Administration and Economy. The seminar was titled: ‘Open Government, Limits and Possibilities’. 18 speakers were invited representing business and public sector, academia and civil society. Three panel debates respectively focused on: the theoretical framework of open government: practitioners views on the use of open data against corruption; and best practices from public authorities. During the first panel, Antoni Gutiérrez-Rubi (specialist in political communication) presented three ingredients for open government: 1) dedication to transparency; 2) institutional reforms; and 3) civil participation. Helen Darbishire (Director Access Info Europe) as practitioner commented that the latter (civil participation) needs to be underlined in a national strategy on open data and that the challenge is to achieve greater participation in the ICT-side of open data, primarily to increase quality of data. During the final panel, Manuel Arenilla (Director of the National Institute for Public Administration – INAP) concluded that in search of openness, the State needs to promote good practices by, for example, providing training to civil servants on how transparency can increase quality and integrity of the public administration.
Find here the agenda of the meeting.
Find here the full seminar report.

Visit to Spain of Mount Royal University, May 2014

DSC_9068In the beginning of May, we welcomed to Spain a group of 22 criminal justice students from Mount Royal University (Calgary, Canada). During their three-day study tour to Madrid, they were hosted by Spanish law enforcement authorities and academia. On the first day the students attended a workshop hosted by Dr. Laura Tedesco at Saint Louis University – Madrid campus. Dr. Tedesco gave the students a lecture on the political and institutional developments in Spain from the transition to democracy until Spain today. The next day the group visited the Civil Guard Academy for Officials and Penitentiary Centre Madrid VI in Aranjuez. On their final day, the students were given a tour of the National Police Academy in Ávila. Learning from the Spanish authorities on their approach to criminal justice and law enforcement has allowed the students to bring back good practices to Canada and further expand their educational horizon.