Mossos d’Esquadra on patrol. (EFE)
Antonio Fernández. Barcelona
06/09/2019 05:00 – Updated: 06/09/2019 10:08
One of the objectives of the new leadership of the Mossos d’Esquadra is to set up a ‘think tank’ that would ‘sell’ the image of Catalonia and its police not only among the population of the community, but also abroad. The recently appointed head of the Mossos, Eduard Sallent, was the one who designed this ‘lobby’ that would be reflected in the creation of a Mossos d’Esquadra Foundation, another instrument, according to some internal sources of the Mossos themselves, of propaganda at the service of the Govern.
That instrument has been developing for a while. In fact, it was proposed a couple of years ago to the union representatives of the Mossos by the leadership of the Police. An act to which El Confidencial has had access points out that the Mossos d’Esquadra Foundation is an immediate priority and that project has as its basic pillars four points: social protection, historical memory (putting value on what the Police is, making exhibitions …), solidarity and the culture of security. “There will be a participation of all the members of the Foundation, but at the same time it will be a professional organization”.
The entity, according to the act already mentioned, would have four different ways of financing: on the one hand, it would be nourished by contributions from patrons who should put between 60,000 and 80,000 euros each (these large patrons would not reach half a dozen). The second way was the monthly contribution of the partners. The third way would be contributions from the Administration itself. And the fourth, the crowd-funding campaigns, in which private entities would participate in a timely manner. Its headquarters would be in the Department itself.
In another point, the act states that “the person responsible for launching this project of Mossos d’Esquadra Foundation (Mayor Eduard Sallent) informs us that, after more than a year of work, it is time to take it forward”. The workers’ representatives asked, then, that everything that was provided orally in the meeting was reflected in a written report to study it carefully.
With his project, he hoped “to unite all the scattered energies in the field of research”
Sallent was then the person in charge of the General Commission of Institutional Relations, Prevention and Mediation of the Mossos. And with his project he hoped to “bring together all the scattered energies in the field of research” and “generate spaces for reflection on security”. Curiously, this year marks three centuries since the creation of the Mossos, event that may be the excuse to materialize the project.
Each of the financing channels would be used for different projects. The contributions of the great patrons, for example, will serve to promote the culture of security; the fees will serve to provide service to the agents of the Police; the contribution of the Administration, to defray the expenses of the headquarters; and the crowd-funding campaigns, to specific solidarity projects. The Foundation’s project is summarized in a document of more than 70 pages, to which this newspaper has had access, detailing that it wants to be “an effective and efficient entity in the management of our projects and offer the maximum information to the citizens, taking into account the collateral elements that ensure the sustainability of our projects”.
The importance of international activity
Regarding the geographical scope, it states that its activity “is limited to the territorial scope of action of the Police”, that is, in Catalonia, although “nationally and internationally it will also be possible to collaborate in solidarity actions in response to emergency situations”. Internal sources of the Mossos emphasize to this newspaper that the police commanders explained that the action at international level “would have a very great importance”.
The sponsors would be “four or five companies” that would contribute annually with “around 80,000 euros”
In this new document it is detailed that the sponsors would be “four or five companies” that would contribute annually “around 80,000 euros”. But it would not be punctual, but its continuity over time must be safeguarded “to guarantee the viability of the Foundation”. The public contribution would be 30,000 euros for the constitution and the contribution of material and human resources. The Police agents would be deducted from their payroll a monthly contribution “as do the police bodies that have foundations.”
The model to follow, according to this document, is a design of “a functional model of participatory management that will enable a professionalized and efficient management and give prominence to the representative entities and related to the Police to achieve its objectives”. The minister of Interior, the general director of the Police and the ‘major’ of the Mossos would be permanent members of its Board of Trustees. The non-permanent members would be 30 representatives of the Police Council, the chairman of the ethics committee of the Mossos, 3 representatives of civil society elected “between persons of recognized prestige” and the chief commissioners of police stations.
It will also have an executive council with a president, a vice-president, several members (of them, 3 of the Police Council) and a general director or manager. This will be the key figure in the administration of the institution and will have “the human and material resources required by the tasks to be carried out”. Among the specific tasks that can be developed are included the support and accompaniment of relatives of agents in the case of death, to the promotion of programs and activities of a cultural, academic or recreational nature.
The prioritization of projects
Another one of the sections is the one of Mossos Solidarios, that implies to support “communitarian social actions of territorial base that are in solidarity with causes of social aspect”. In this area, for example, the “identification of collaborating entities to analyze the possibility of specific alliances” is foreseen. This includes the “analysis of the collaboration options through the evaluation of the impact and the associated cost, prioritizing initiatives with high impact that are aligned with the strategy and the values of the organization itself”.
For this, certain criteria must be followed when selecting associations, entities or organizations with which to collaborate and this is the point that can allow close collaboration with civic entities that perform purely political tasks and, especially, support for the realization of actions for the implantation of the Republic. “It would be a matter of supporting and encouraging projects not aligned with the values and principles of the Police, as the statutes say, but with those of the political leadership of the Council, which is very different. The risks come from the fact that you can prioritize certain groups identified with sovereignty, but also from the external projection that you want to give to everything the Foundation does, which can serve as a justification for the ‘procés’ abroad”, as several internal sources criticize.
The misgivings find also their excuses in the activities the Foundation wants to promote: its role will be to organize or participate in “talks, conferences, workshops … … as well as the development and dissemination of content that promotes a discussion forum on models, perspectives and projects linked to the world of security, as well as the dissemination of mediation as a model of alternative conflict management experienced and achieved in the Police, through talks, publications, conferences, exhibitions … “. That’s where, according to critics, “you can sneak in the political message and you can put the Foundation as a ‘think tank’ at the service of a cause”.
Shield the own space in the section of the disclosure of the historical memory of the Body occurs the same of the same, since the dissemination and dissemination of its activities, among which research, scholarships, conferences, teaching material, exhibitions, advice, historical recreations, publications or prizes, is a favorable environment for the political use of the ‘lobby’.
The project also provides for the transfer of a site “by the Generalitat de Catalunya that computes for the purpose of contribution to the Foundation.” It has to be assessed if it is a space provided by the Ministry of the Interior or by the Directorate General for Heritage. And it is discarded, even if it is a private entity that lends the seat and that it is another Administration (local, provincial or state) that gives the property, since that way it vetoes the entry in the Board to an external administration.
The initial outlay for operating expenses would be around 200,000 euros per year. The head of the Foundation would charge over 60,000 euros; two technicians with salaries of 45,000 euros each; and two administrative staff with salaries of 30,000 euros. In addition, positions can be filled with agents who go on to second activity or making orders to officials of the General Directorate of the Police. “It can also be agreed that part of the contributions of companies be with the transfer of personnel or the payment of their payroll,” explains the project.