The fight against organised crime: the European Council sets out 10 priorities for the next 4 years

The Council has adopted a series of conclusions setting the 2022-2025 EU priorities for the fight against serious and organised crime through the European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats (EMPACT). Within the EMPACT framework, EU member states, law enforcement agencies and other actors will work closely together to address these key criminal threats, using tools such as law enforcement training and joint operational actions to dismantle criminal networks, their structures and business models.

On the basis of the 2021 EU serious and organised crime threat assessment, presented by Europol, member states have identified 10 crime priorities:

1. High-risk criminal networks: To identify and disrupt high-risk criminal networks active in the EU, with special emphasis on those using corruption, violence, firearms and money laundering through parallel underground financial systems.

2. Cyber-attacks: To target criminal offenders orchestrating cyber-attacks, particularly those offering specialised criminal services online.

3. Trafficking in human beings: To disrupt criminal networks engaged in trafficking in human beings, with special focus on those who exploit minors, those who use or threaten violence against victims and their families and those who recruit and advertise victims online.

4. Child sexual exploitation: To combat child abuse online and offline, including the production and dissemination of child abuse material as well as online child sexual exploitation.

5. Migrant smuggling: To fight against criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling, in particular those providing facilitation services along the main migratory routes.

6. Drug trafficking: To identify and target the criminal networks involved in drug trafficking, including trafficking and distribution of cannabis, cocaine, heroin, synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances.

7. Fraud, economic and financial crimes: To target criminals orchestrating fraud, economic and financial crimes, online fraud schemes, excise fraud, intellectual property crime, counterfeiting of goods and currencies, criminal finances and money laundering.

8. Organised property crime: To disrupt criminal networks involved in organised property crime, with particular focus on organised burglaries, theft, motor vehicle crime and the illegal trade in cultural goods.

9. Environmental crime: To combat criminal networks involved in all forms of environmental crime and in particular those with a capability to infiltrate legal business structures or set up their own companies to facilitate their crimes.

10. Firearms trafficking: To target criminals involved in the illicit trafficking, distribution and use of firearms.

In addition to these priorities, the production and provision of fraudulent and false documents will be addressed as a common horizontal strategic goal, since it is a key enabler for many crimes.


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