Organised crime: a European solution for an international problem 

A police officer at work. ©BELGA/AFP/G.JULIEN  

Criminals have long sought to abuse the opportunities offered by an increasingly globalising world as shown by the 3,600 international criminal organisations now operating in the EU. The EP launched a special committee to investigate the problem and come up with the best possible ways to combat them.

The committee consulted nearly 150 authorities and experts over 18 months, after which Salvatore Iacolino, an Italian member of the EPP group, drafted the final report. On 23 October Parliament approved the report in plenary and adopted a non-legislative resolution that sets out an EU action plan for 2014-2019 to fight organised crime at national, European and international levels.

The reports calls for European legislation to be harmonised it order to make it possible to tackle organised crime more effectively. This should include all member states having the same definition of organised crime, corruption and money laundering as well as better judicial and police cooperation and establishing a European public prosecutor to coordinate and improve national investigations.

In addition the committee calls for the abolisment of banking secrecy and the elimintion of EU tax havens in order drain criminals' financial resources.