you're reading...
Institutional and Legal Affairs, PUBLICATIONS

Organised crime in the European Union


© Tomo Jesenicnik / Fotolia

It is impossible to measure accurately the socio-economic cost of crime. However, the estimates available invariably quote very high figures, which lead to reflection in times of financial crisis and austerity.
Numerous organised crime groups are active in the EU, often with cross-border reach and multi-ethnic composition. There is a clear tendency of rigid and hierarchical structures being replaced by loose networks of small and volatile groups. These may be better adapted to the modern world with its rapid changes.
Some groups, having established a strong position in their countries of origin, go on to engage in illicit markets throughout the EU. They make use of their reputations and sophistication in certain types of crime to form profitable alliances with other groups. Italian, Russian and Albanian-speaking organisations are but a few of the “leaders” in transnational crime in the EU.
It is difficult to think of a criminal activity that would not be considered by organised crime, with the profit and risk involved being the major criteria for their possible involvement. Apart from “traditional” crime, including drug trafficking, such groups increasingly engage in legal business activities, which enables them to launder illegal gains, while benefiting from attractive licit markets. In any case, collusion of corrupt officials and dishonest businessmen is crucial to the success of such criminal enterprises.

Read the whole briefing here >> [PDF]



  1. Pingback: Organised crime in the European Union | European Parliamentary Research Service - October 23, 2015

Leave a Reply

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Follow Blog via Email

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,536 other subscribers

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: