Corruption: fight it, win against it!

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05 July 2022
CEPOL National Unit, Romania

The CEPOL onsite course 95/2022 was organised by the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Directorate General of Human Resources Management, in cooperation with the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN), between 21-24 June, in Bucharest, Romania. The overall aim of the activity was to enhance law enforcement capacity in the fight against corruption by using the international tools for prevention, investigation and prosecution, as well as dialogue with civil society, in order to create resistance to the corruption phenomenon.

The formative activity was held at the CAPITOL Hotel in Bucharest and it brought together 33 participants from 17 Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Malta, Slovakia), plus Norway, Europol and 4 prosecutors and judges selected through/funded by the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN). Experts from Europol, Eurojust, the European Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), Italy (Court of Appeal of Naples), Spain (Guardia Civil), the Anti-Corruption General Directorate, the General Directorate of Internal Protection, the Ministry of Justice, the Anti-Fraud Department and the National Integrity Agency delivered their expertise in the form of interactive presentations, case studies and workshops).

DAY 1:

The first day of the course started with the presentation of Mr. Ciprian GHITULEASA and Mrs. Mariana RADUCU from the Anti-Corruption General Directorate, which highlighted the importance of preventing corruption through informal means in the context of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2021-2025, whilst providing concrete examples derived from the efforts undertaken at national level.

Next, Mr. Valentin TOPOLOIU and Ms. Georgiana ASOLTANEI explained the importance of risk assessment and of integrity incidents, as tools for responding to vulnerabilities generated by corruption. They also emphasised the need to intensify efforts to prevent corruption in law enforcement institutions, clarifying the methodology for managing corruption risks as well as the procedure for assessing integrity incidents.

The first day of the activity continued with a presentation on improving professional capabilities of fighting corruption, as well as the dialogue with civil society, given by Mr. Andrei FURDUI, Head of Crime Prevention Department within the Ministry of Justice, and Mrs. Laura STEFAN, expert from the NGO Expert Forum. The experts highlighted the need for initial and ongoing professional training in the field of preventing and combating corruption, the results being greater when the relevant state authorities are supported in their efforts by civil society.

Mr. Ionut PINDARU from the National Integrity Agency detailed the architecture of the integrated information system for identifying and preventing potential conflicts of interest in awarding public procurement contracts. The presentation was supplemented with a case study on situations of incompatibility in the exercise of certain public functions.

Lastly, Mr. Boštjan LAMEŠIČ - Senior State Prosecutor, Deputy National Member for Slovenia at EUROJUST - highlighted the importance of joint investigation teams in a specific case and the difficulties encountered in performing the investigative activities necessary to gather evidence.

DAY 2:

At a study visit organized at the Headquarters of the General Anticorruption Directorate, the participants were welcomed by the managerial team - Mr. Liviu VASILESCU, Director General, and Mrs. Manuela POPESCU, Deputy Director General - who stressed the importance of international police cooperation in preventing and combating corruption and related crimes, emphasizing the exchange of good practices in regarding the investigative techniques used. The participants were informed about the specific techniques of gathering and analyzing information and the use of undercover investigators in complex cases of corruption.

The training continued with Mr. Guillermo REDONDO from Guardia Civil - Spain, who presented the new operational network of anti-corruption authorities (GlobE Network), which aims to provide a rapid, agile and effective tool for facilitating transnational cooperation in the fight against corruption and to strengthen efforts to communicate and disseminate good practices. The second presentation focused on the frauds that can be committed against the NextGenerationEU structural funds as a temporary recovery tool, designed to help repair the immediate economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the final part of the second day, Mr. Gabriel TURCU from the Anti-Fraud Department stressed the importance of protecting the EU's financial interests through administrative investigations, the challenges in using IT products based on artificial intelligence algorithms in investigations or obtaining financial information on the latest payment systems (cryptocurrencies).

DAY 3:

Mr. Lorenzo SALAZAR, Deputy to General Prosecutor at the Court of Appeal of Naples, delivered the presentation "European and International Judicial Cooperation in Corruption Cases (including EJN and EPPO)" in which he elaborated on the anti-corruption instruments of cooperation at European level. The topic was further discussed by Mr. Marius BULANCEA, Head of Unit – Operations and College Support from the European Prosecutor's Office, who underlined the role of the EPPO in investigating crimes affecting the EU's financial interests, presenting its mandate, the organizational structure, as well as concrete results from the work carried out. The trainer’s contribution was also supported by a group activity in which the participants were asked to establish the legal framework, investigative activities and evidence to be obtained in a specific criminal case.

The final expert’s contribution of the day was then entrusted to Mr. ​​Adrian COLIBA from the General Anticorruption Directorate. He addressed a topic related to the best practices in the fields of intelligence and criminal investigation techniques. Mr. Coliba analysed the activities undertaken to collect operational value information and engaged the participants in drafting an investigation plan based on a case scenario.

DAY 4:

The fourth and final day of the CEPOL course started with Mr. Sergio D'ORSI from Europol, who focused on Europol's support to international corruption investigations, widely illustrating its role in the fight against corruption, the exchange of information between Member States, the existing capacities for operational analysis in complex cases and platforms for conducting cyber searches, trends, challenges and good practices in investigating corruption cases.

Mrs. Cristina NEAGU closed the day with a topic on counter-intelligence and national security in the field of investigating and preventing corruption, presenting issues related to the legal framework and the role of the General Directorate of Internal Protection in gathering information on corruption among civil servants, as well as cooperation with all relevant institutions in order to tackle this phenomenon.

Participants’ thoughts:

Alexia, Cyprus:

“Tackling police corruption is a very interesting area of ​​work. What led me to this Service is my desire to be able to work in any Police Department or Service without worrying if I can trust my colleague and without wondering if we work on the same side, while I cannot accept that police officers cooperate with criminals or commit acts of corruption for financial gain.”

Helene, Norway:

“The greatest challenge is to find the conclusive evidence that shows that the suspects have received the unfair benefit. The last piece of the puzzle. A criminal case may be a big and overly complex puzzle with many suspects. My challenge is to stay focused and search for the right evidence without being distracted, so I can complete the case.”

Maria, Greece:

“Corruption hampers sustainable economic growth, impedes market competition, undermines the rule of law and erodes citizens’ trust in institutions. It is an impediment to building prosperity and security for our countries and communities and undermines sustainable development. The prevention of and the fight against corruption have to be conducted in a manner consistent with our obligations and respect for human rights, justice, democracy and the rule of law at all levels.”

Contributions are directly provided by CEPOL partners and published on this page “as is”. As a result, CEPOL shall hold no responsibility in the accuracy of content provided by the partner. Opinions reflected in these blogspots shall not be deemed to represent CEPOL’s Management or staff’s opinion.


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