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News from CEP Office: Leo Tigges leaves position of Secretary General

Publication date: 3-4-2012


Leo TiggesAn important change is taking place in the Office of CEP. Our Secretary General Leo Tigges has informed us that he will be taking up a new position and therefore leaving CEP as of 1st May 2012. Leo Tigges has been Secretary General of CEP for nearly 8 years. CEP and the sector of probation have gone through great developments during his tenure. Leo Tigges talks about his time with CEP and responds to a few questions. CEP President Marc Cerón also has a contribution.

What is the new position you have been offered?
I am going to be the liaison officer to the Dutch Ministry of Justice for three islands of the Dutch Antilles, Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. The islands have Dutch municipal status and I will become the contact person for all the services that the Ministry offers between the islands. I am very happy with the job for several reasons. And on a professional level, the position provides a great new challenge. It covers many facets of the criminal justice process, it is therefore beneficial that I have already worked for some of the involved services in the Netherlands. Besides, the warm climate appeals to me and my wife, who has asthma.

The organisation has gone through some significant changes during your terms, which are the most important?
I think that it is illustrative that each CEP President and their respective Board that I worked with, has contributed in a different way to the development of CEP. John Scott helped to clarify the goals of CEP and how to convey this message to the outside world. It was also during this term  that David O'Donovan and me succeeded in designing the system that makes members pay their contribution according to the GDP, the relative wealth of a country. Nowadays we do not receive complaints anymore that the membership costs are unfairly distributed among its members. At the General Assembly in Malaga, Spain, and with the leadership of Patrick Madigou, a change in the statutes professionalised the relationship between the Board and Office. Our current president Marc Cerón, emphasises the contact with the individual member organisation, but also with other organisations that represent victims, restorative justice organisations and prisons. These improvements allowed the organisation to grow and improve the communication.

The sector of probation has also developed significantly, how do you see this development?
Indeed, the sector is going through a number of developments. One such development is that a great deal of research is being done in excellent European projects. As a result, the research has a big impact on the probation sector. Plus, several universities have become a member of CEP and strengthen the network on an academic level. An example of such successful collaboration is the project ‘Criminal Justice Social Work', which is a result of the 2009 conference on recruitment and training of probation practitioners. CEP has also helped to promote probation on a local and European level, I have worked hard for this. In many places probation has become a higher priority. The Probation Rules of the Council of Europe and Framework Decisions 947 on probation and 829 on supervision measures are proof of this. In return our membership has also grown considerably.

Is there something you will miss about being CEP's SG?
This is a very hard question because, all things considered, my experience has been positive. The travelling was very demanding and I will not miss. But I enjoyed attending the conferences because I was inspired by the committed attitude of these colleagues and I will miss the connection with them and the common goal we shared.

Contribution from the President of CEP

On the departure of Leo Tigges

OGP (Organisation, Group, People) this is the acronym that someone learns the first day at a Business School when he or she is preparing to manage companies in the future.

The second day the lesson is to learn how these three concepts are linked and what may be the consequences if they are not in balance.

To learn how to be a good OGP oriented manager takes little time, to become a really brilliant OGP manager takes a whole professional career.

Leo Tigges is someone who achieved this goal. He knows all the details of the history and the actions of CEP concerning any matter; he is able to encourage, lead or be part of the different groups that exist under the CEP umbrella (the Board, the Office staff, Members, the European Bodies, the stakeholders, the partners); and he has talked to and remembered anyone who has been in contact with CEP, despite the frequency and the continuity of such relationship.

I personally appreciated all those skills since 1994, when I first came into contact with CEP. As an attendant to CEP events, Leo Tigges was someone who always approached me, albeit I came from a country with a small probation tradition and I was in a position more to learn than to share. When I became member of the Board in 2007, I felt part of the group from the first day and it was Leo who introduced me to what, beforehand, did not look as an easy task to do. From 2010, already in my current position, my daily conversations (phone, mail, skype, face to face) with Leo are part of my ordinary life.

It is easy to understand how proud I was to have the opportunity to work together with him and how much I appreciated his huge contribution to the actual development of CEP.I am completely convinced that this is a clear shared view among CEP members, and in this respect, the incredible amount of messages received in our Office since we informed them about his departure from CEP is the best proof.

We lose a Secretary General, but we earn a CEP ambassador, placed from the upcoming 1st of May 2012 in the Dutch Antilles, as always, open to the world.

Only one final remark, Leo's CEP legacy shows Business Schools how important is to include in the OGP theory a fourth pillar that gives greater meaning to all others: work with passion!

Best of luck Leo, it is always waiting for you in the future.

Marc Cerón
CEP President