The fight against corruption is one of the main axes of the EU's cooperation with Luanda, within which several initiatives have already been carried out, financed by the European Development Fund, which have trained national services in actions to strengthen institutions.
Paulo Simões was speaking this Monday on behalf of the EU ambassador to Angola, Jeannette Seppen, at a seminar organized by the Catholic University of Angola and the United Nations, as part of the commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day.
The official stressed that the EU, in partnership with the United Nations and other international institutions, has undertaken this commitment to join forces with the authorities of Angola, so that together they can design a framework of initiatives with a view to strengthening coordinated and sustainable cooperation and participating in the fight to this scourge.
Paulo Simões highlighted the fact that Angola, in recent years, according to the organization Transparency International, has gone from 163rd place in 2015 to 136th in 2021, among 180 countries, thus rising 27 places in the ranking.
“It is an important improvement and for the achievement of this result, Angola's cooperation with the EU in the area of justice and law was fundamental, benefiting from closer cooperation and the strengthening of this strategic partnership”, he said.
Under this project, informed Paulo Simões, legislative harmonization in the areas of corruption, money laundering, drug trafficking, witness protection, loss of property and asset recovery was prepared and approved by the competent bodies.
According to the EU representative, workshops and practical courses were given in all areas and all institutions involved, namely the Ministry of Economy and Planning, National Bank of Angola, Presidency of the Republic, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights , Attorney General's Office, Financial Information Unit, Ministry of the Interior, Criminal Investigation Service, Supreme Court, among others.
“These human and institutional training actions were crucial to provide the competent institutions with basic knowledge, to start the criminal investigation, to install the first processes, to proceed with the arrest and to freeze the first assets resulting from corruption and money laundering. capitals in Angola”, he stressed.
Paulo Simões also highlighted the creation, with the support of experts hired within the scope of European cooperation, of two new services under the supervision of the Attorney General's Office, namely the National Service to Combat Corruption and the National Service for the Recovery of Assets.