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IP/01/704

Brussels, 16 May 2001

Commission launches EU Forum on preventing organised crime

Over 200 participants will take part in the first meeting of EU Forum on Organised Crime Prevention on 17th and 18th May in Brussels. The new Forum is a European Commission initiative which is part of its broader strategy for crime prevention in the EU. This approach focusses on forming partnerships and networks with interested parties. In tackling organised crime, this means involving national law enforcement authorities, business and professional groups, academic researchers, non-governmental organisations and civil society as a whole. Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs António Vitorino said : "The whole of society has a stake in preventing the infiltration of crime in its midst. We need to improve Europe-wide cooperation of all those affected to make life harder for the organised criminal. There is a strong case for developing a broad system of private and public governance to boost crime prevention."

In recent years, there has been a clear trend for international criminal organisations to infiltrate legitimate markets. The aim of the Forum on Organised Crime Prevention is to raise awareness of this phenomenon among stakeholders and to mobilise them through new forms of partnerships. Its first meeting will provide a good illustration of how to involve key players to develop prevention strategies across different areas.

The response to this Commission initiative has been very positive from government officials, the private and cooperative sectors alike. Over 200 participants from EU Member States and candidate countries are taking part in the meeting, representing a broad range of professional and economic interests.

The opening session will include a keynote intervention by Mrs Rennerstedt, State Secretary of the Swedish Ministry of Justice, on behalf of the EU Presidency. A discussion panel with members of the European Parliament, the Social and Economic Committee and the Committee of the Regions will follow. Commissioner Vitorino will intervene at the close of the Conference.

Working groups will discuss the prevention of organised crime in four selected areas:

  • trafficking in human beings

  • fraud related to non-cash means of payment

  • trafficking in cultural goods

  • the role of the private sector in preventing economic and financial crime.

All these forms of crime have a Europe-wide impact, often with devastating consequences for citizens and business. Preventive measures to be discussed include joint pilot projects ; training actions ; identification and exchange of good practice ; studies and research ; awareness raising activities. The Forum will also seek to identify other priority areas for future work.

Note for editors:

The Commission's Communication (COM (2000) 786 final) setting out its approach to the prevention of crime in the EU is available at the following internet address : http://europa.eu/eur-lex/en/com/pdf/2000/en_500PC0786.pdf

Programme of the first meeting of the EU Forum

on the prevention of organised crime

17-18 May 2001, Albert Borschette Building, Rue Froissart 36

17 May 2001

09.30 10.00 Welcome and registration of participants

10.00 11.00 Opening of the conference:

 "A European strategy on crime prevention"

 Mr. J.A. Fortescue, Director General, DG Justice and Home affairs

     Ms. Kristina Rennerstedt, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Sweden

     The views of representatives from the European Parliament, the Social and Economic Committee and the Committee of the Regions

11.00 11.30 Coffee break

    11.30 13.00 1. The EU Forum on the prevention of organised crime : its role and objectives T.L. Margue, European Commission

     2. Organised crime prevention: presentation of the joint report by the Commission and Europol W. Bruggeman, Europol

 3. Partnership Added Value from Business D. Burrill, ERT/ISMA

 Discussion

13.00 14.30 Buffet lunch

14.30 17.00 Workshops

 1. Application of the concept of prevention to trafficking in Human beings

   Chair : G.Vernimmen / Rapporteur : H. Sjölinder

     2. Prevention of fraud on non-cash means of payment: educational material for retailers

   Chair : U. Bader / Rapporteur : S. Tiné

     3. The role of the private sector in the prevention of economic and financial crime

   Chair : T.L. Margue / Rapporteur : M.Vollprecht

 4. Prevention of trafficking in cultural goods

   Chair : J.-J. Nuss / Rapporteur : R.Vaux

18 May 2001

09.30 11.45 Workshops (continued)

12.00 13.00 Presentation of the outcomes of the workshops

 Closing of the conference by Commissioner Vitorino


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