From 4 until 13 March The Hague Academy successfully organised the ‘Integrity of Civil Servants’ course for the second time. It is part of the Matra Patrol programme, facilitated by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aiming to strengthen good governance and the rule of law in pre-accession countries in South-Eastern Europe.
The participants of this year’s Integrity course go home with new insights, theories, policies and practices in the field of integrity. The group consisted of civil servants that were all motivated to improve the integrity of their civil service, not just for the sake of accession to the EU but to create a more transparent and accountable government for all of their citizens.
The programme consisted of theoretical classes, study visits and skills training. Together with the trainers and experts the participants learned valuable lessons from each other and got a good insight in Dutch practice on local and national level. The participants met with Dutch (vice-)mayors, the national Court of Audit, civil servants of the city of Amsterdam, police forces from Rotterdam and colleagues from the Ministry of Interior. These were seen as useful experiences by the participants, quoting one of the participants “I will definitely apply this knowledge in my daily work, naturally, with some adjustments due to cultural and legal differences. I will draw on the examples and the methods I have seen here.” The group also went to Brussels to meet with the Dutch Permanent Representation to the European Union and EU officials of DG-Enlargement and OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office) to bring integrity into the context of EU Accession.
The Hague Academy will use the experiences and lessons learned during this course for the next Matra Patrol course on Integrity that will be held in the beginning of 2014. The next course within the Matra Patrol Programme that we organise will be “Decentralisation”. This course takes place from 21 to 30 October 2013, for information and application click here. For more information about the Matra Patrol programme, please see www.asser.nl/matrapatrol.