Knowledge of EU laws as a means of combating transnational organised crime
Promoting a European legal culture

Rome, 28 October 2011. A new project, "Knowledge of EU laws as a means of combating transnational organised crime", was launched in Rome on Friday during a conference held by Fondazione Italiana per il Notariato.

The project is funded by the European Commission and will be implemented by Fondazione Italiana per il Notariato, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), Consejo General del Notariado (Spain), Lelio and Lisli Basso Issoco Foundation, the Observatory on the EU Fundamental Rights and a number of strategic partners such as: Italian National Agency for the Management of Assets Confiscated to Organized Crime, Italian Ministry of Justice, Italian Anti-Mafia Bureau, Croatian Notary Chamber (Hrvatska Javnobiljeznicka Komora), Conseil Supérieur du Notariat de France, Slovenian Notary Chamber (Notarska Zbornica Slovenije), European Institute of Political, Economic, and Social Studies Eurispes and European Foundation Center.

The project focuses on the need to promote a ‘European legal culture' to face the pervading threats of transnational organized crime. The 27 European Union countries are highly affected by the dynamic modus operandi of criminal groups which have developed different typologies of illegal activities by exploiting the advantages of new technologies, the increasing mobility of people and goods and the possibilities of creating new alliances. In Europe criminal groups are increasingly multi-commodity and poly-criminal in their activities.

Increased cooperation, harmonization of laws, regulations and procedures, and their application are crucial components to the development of a strong action to counter the threats posed by organized crime. To this end the new project will provide theoretical and practical training to European legal practitioners; facilitate exchange of European best practices; and allow for the systematic collection of European and national legislative instruments. Research activities will focus on the effect of laws and regulations adopted within the European Union on national jurisprudence and practices. The project will concentrate on money laundering, confiscated goods, international terrorism, criminal bankruptcy and privacy.

The Conference in Rome was an important opportunity to present and discuss the objectives of the project. The meeting was attended, among others, by Mr. Giancarlo Laurini, President of Consiglio Nazionale del Notariato and Fondazione Italiana per il Notariato; Mr. Luigi Birritteri, Italian Ministry of Justice; Mr. Pierluigi dell'Osso, Prosecutor - Italian Anti-Mafia Bureau; Mr. Antonio Tizzano, President of the First Chamber of the European Court of Justice; Mr. Giuseppe Tesauro, Member of the Italian Constitutional Court; Mr. Rudolf Kaindl, President of CNUE; Mr. Carlo Visconti, Secretary General of the Italian Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura; and Mr. Jonathan Lucas, Director of UNICRI.

During the Conference UNICRI's Director, Jonathan Lucas said: "More than 10 years after the signature of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime - the so called Palermo Convention - Italy remains dedicated to counter transnational organized crime and strongly supports efforts to promote knowledge of legal instruments designed to tackle organized crime activities. Our project, ‘Knowledge of EU laws as a means of combating transnational organised crime', is vital to any progress in this battle. Inadequate knowledge of the different European laws and jurisprudence will ensure failure in the protection of citizens throughout the EU."

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