During the European week for combating organised crime, the EESC is looking at ways of improving collaboration between civil society and the local authorities in combating the scourge of organised crime.
In Europe, some 3 600 organised criminal groups and networks are involved in the heinous business of crime, ranging from trafficking in human beings and smuggling migrants, arms, drugs, rare animal species and cultural artefacts, to illicit trade in fake medicines. These are all potential sources of revenue for the Mafia, transnational criminal organisations and terrorist groups.
The EESC, through its President, intends to target the financial gains from crime and money laundering. It has reiterated its support for European legislation aimed at freezing and confiscating the proceeds of crime. It calls for better judicial cooperation and more powers for asset recovery offices in Europe and for Eurojust. Consideration should also be given to centralising the task of asset recovery, because the fight against organised crime cannot rely on cooperation alone. Similarly, in the area of police cooperation it is vital to strengthen Europol, so that it can become an operational investigative police body with jurisdiction across the entire territory of the EU.
"We must forge ahead with European integration, because only a strong and coordinated response can break the vicious circle of organised crime", Georges Dassis, President of the EESC, emphasised. "This will call for crucial collaboration with the EU's neighbouring countries, since these crimes feed on shortcomings in the openness of global trade."
"Today, I offer the full support and solidarity of the European Economic and Social Committee, on behalf of organised civil society, in the fight against organised crime: our organisations on the ground are continuing to fight alongside mayors, municipalities and regions to put a stop to these crimes. At European level, I am committed to ensuring that the Committee is a staunch defender of the message that unity will always be our strength", he stated in conclusion.
- "Proposals to fight corruption in the EU: meeting business and civil society concerns" - CCMI/132 (Hamro-Drotz et Gendre), September 2015
- "Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings" - SOC /467 (Ouin), December 2012
- "Proceeds of crime" – SOC/459 (De Lamaze), July 2012
For more information, please contact:
Caroline ALIBERT-DEPREZ, EESC Press Office
Email: presseesc [dot] europa [dot] eu
Tel: + 32 2 546 9406 / +32 475 75 32 02