The EP's special committee on organised crime approved its final report on 17 September after 18 months of work, setting out how the EU could tackle the problem more effectively. We spoke to report author Salvatore Iacolino, an Italian member of the EPP group, who stressed the recommendations in the report were ready to be carried out.
There are 3,600 international criminal organisations operating in the EU. Which priorities emerged during the 18 months of work in the committee?
The main challenge of the European Union is to develop a judicial cooperation among national police forces. We have to set one single legal framework: a sentence pronounced in one member state has to be applied in the other member states. A good example is the "offence of mafia association", which for the moment only exists in Italy.
Can we talk about a “European mafia”?
Mafias are not linked to one geographical area. In Germany the biggest international criminal organisations are Turkish or Russian. That’s why a European challenge needs a European solution.
One of biggest achievement of the EU has been the single market, but we have to guarantee that businesses condemned of corruption or money laundering in one member state, are excluded from participation in public contract throughout the EU.
Why is a significant portion of the report dedicated to the financial aspects of criminal organisations?
We have to attack criminal assets, abolish the bank secrecy and put an end to fiscal havens in the EU. That’s why it’s so important to develop a stronger bank governance. What we have written in the final report doesn’t have to stay only on paper.