Strategy against crime

strategy against crime control

The contributions of Member States to the annual report on organised crime show that it is on the increase in the European Union. Criminal groups have managed to infiltrate all sections of society, taking advantage of the free movement of capital, goods, persons and services within the European Union and exploiting differences in the legal systems of the Member States.

In view of the threat from organised crime at national and international level, a coordinated response is necessary in which the Member States, the Council, the Commission, Europol and the European Judicial Network all have a role to play.

Following up its action plan to combat organised crime of June 1997, the Vienna European Council, meeting in December 1998, called for EU action on organised crime to be strengthened in the light of the new possibilities opened up by the Amsterdam Treaty. That objective was restated by the European Council at its Tampere meeting in October 1999.

By adopting its strategy for the prevention and control of organised crime, the Council has responded to the need for action.

The document spells out the actions which must be taken at European level to combat organised crime and provides details of priorities, the bodies responsible for implementation and target dates.

The political guidelines and thirty-nine detailed recommendations which make up the strategy reflect eleven objectives:

    to strengthen the collection and analysis of data on organised crime;
    to prevent penetration of organised crime in the public and the legitimate private sector;
    to strengthen the prevention of organised crime and strengthen partnerships between the criminal justice system and civil society;
    to review and improve legislation and control and regulatory policies at national and European Union level;
    to strengthen the investigation of organised crime;
    to strengthen Europol;
    to trace, freeze, seize and confiscate the proceeds of crime;
    to strengthen cooperation between law enforcement and judicial authorities nationally and within    the European Union;
    to strengthen cooperation with the applicant countries;
    to strengthen cooperation with third countries and other international organisations;
    to monitor the strengthening of the implementation of measures for the prevention and control of organised crime within the European Union.

For each objective, details are also given of the initiatives taken in the relevant field and an assessment is made of the specific mandate for the development of future actions which can be deduced from the 1997 Action Plan, the December 1998 Action Plan for the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice, the Council Resolution of 21 December 1998 on the prevention of organised crime and the conclusions of the Tampere European Council.

The Multidisciplinary Group on Organised Crime will report at regular intervals to the Council and the European Council on the implementation of strategy. The Council will take the appropriate measures.

The Commission and Council will submit to the European Council, by 30 June 2005 at the latest, a general report on implementation of the EU strategy to combat organised crime. The European Council will provide guidelines on further measures to be taken.

On 29 May 2000, the Council adopted a report on the state of organised crime in the European Union in 1998.