From 22 to 24 October 2018, the 18th Annual Conference of the European Partners against Corruption (EPAC/EACN), an informal network of anti-corruption and police oversight practitioners from member states of the European Union and the Council of Europe, was held in Rust, Austria. Over sixty delegations were brought together under the theme “Multiple challenges require sustainable and interactive solutions”.
This is the first EPAC/EACN annual conference in which the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life participated as a member since its admission in November 2017.
The event opened with a presentation of the issues faced by the private sector in the fight against corruption, and the means to tackle them (internal systems of risk management, training programs and awareness raising…). Then, international perspectives were addressed by Interpol, Europol and GRECO, among others. On the second day, operational discussions took place. Indeed, participants mentioned several concrete projects that were recently conducted at the national level.
In this context, Juliette Roux, Legal Officer at the Legal and Studies Division, presented the latest developments of the lobbying register and, in particular, the open data strategy adopted by the Authority since its launch in July 2017. After a general presentation of the register, she described the “Open d’État” Forum, the publication of the first results of the declarations of activities, as well as the list of non-compliant registrants.
The « Declaration of Pannonia », the final act of the conference adopted at the plenary session on 24 October, reiterated the network’s commitment to the independence of its members. It also promoted the establishment of a conflict of interest prevention mechanism based on asset and interest disclosure. Moreover, the declaration encouraged member states to continue their efforts to cooperate and share good practices in the working groups on the use of big data and on the management of mass events, which were both launched this year by the network.
Finally, the High Authority welcomed the admission of new members to the EPAC/EACN: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Ireland and the Spanish regional authorities of the Balearic Islands and Valencia.