RAS attended the OLAF conference “Standing Up To State Capture: Innovative Methods to Investigate Fraud and Corruption in EU Funding for Agriculture”

RAS researcher, Valentina Dimulescu, attended the international conference entitled “Standing Up To State Capture: Innovative Methods to Investigate Fraud and Corruption in EU Funding for Agriculture” which took place in Sofia, Bulgaria in September 2018. The event was organized by the Center for the Study of Democracy with the support of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the Open Society Initiative for Europe.

Its objective was to bring together academics, practitioners and innovators to discuss methods for assessing and measuring the state capture phenomenon and showcase the current and up-and-coming tools and techniques in detecting, preventing and investigating fraud and corruption in the EU funding for agriculture. The conference also tackled the potential impacts of organised crime and the state capture phenomenon on the rural and agriculture sectors in the EU and explored key aspects of the risks for the EU’s financial interests posed by white collar crime in the agricultural sector.

Dr. Alexander Gerganov from CSD’s Economic Program introduced a quantitative assessment of state capture in Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic. He underlined that the problem is rooted in the combination of poor governance, the monopolisation of key business sectors, and enablers such as media capture. Valentina Dimulescu presented a recent study conducted in Romania which underlined that, despite its evident economic growth since 1989, the country is still affected by pervasive corruption and overall poor governance. She gave examples from an analysis of public procurement in the infrastructure and construction sectors in order to highlight how the anti-corruption crackdown has not yet yielded the expected results. Nicola Capello from the Research Centre on Security and Crime in Vicenza presented the results of a study on state capture in Italy, which assesses the risk of external pressure on Italian institutions, as well as a case study of the MOSE project in Venice – a local example of state capture and its financial implications. Dr. Vit Simral, Lead Researcher at the University of Hradec Králové analysed the capture of key economic sectors in the Czech Republic such as agriculture, the pharmaceutical industry and energy. He emphasised the lack of regulations on the “revolving door” phenomenon as well as on conflict of interests.

Mrs. Dimulescu’s presentation is available here

More information on the conference, as well as the agenda and the presentations are available here

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