Organized crime continues to pose a serious threat for Europe: a fact that was also highlighted in the recent EUROPOL report. The development of new technologies, but also the pandemic, have highlighted the complexity and flexibility of the threat. Organized crime now has a prevalent cross-border dimension, which is the primary reason why Member States are unable to deal with the threat individually. The framework of the European response, which has been based on the operation of cooperation networks for the last decade or so, needs to be upgraded. The Strategy for the Fight against Organized Crime, the first such strategy adopted by the EU, constitutes an important step in this direction.

  • Serious and organized crime remains a major threat to the internal security of the EU and its Member States.
  • The organized crime landscape is characterized by a networked environment in which criminals cooperate in a flexible, but systematic and profit-oriented, way.
  • Much of the violence associated with serious and organized crime relates to drug trafficking.
  • Serious and organized crime in the EU essentially relies on the criminals ability to legitimize their huge criminal profits.
  • The use of technology is a key feature of serious and organized crime in 2021.
  • More than 80% of criminal networks are involved in drug trafficking, property crime, excise duty fraud, human trafficking, cyber and other scams or the smuggling of migrants.
  • The new EU Strategy for the fight against organized crime places particular emphasis on collecting and analyzing intelligence, and on the extensive use of new technological tools.
  • The European Commission acknowledges that the progress made by Member States in the fight against organized crime has been insufficient for a threat with such a strong cross-border dimension and high degree of flexibility.

You may find here in Greek the Policy Brief by Triandafyllos Karatrantos, Research Fellow, ELIAMEP.