Lorenzo Marchese, 06/11/2011
On the 25th of October, the European Parliament has approved the report on Organized Crime in the EU. As a liberal, I can only rejoice. Organized crime’s activities undermine many of the values liberal Europeans believe in. It violates the rights of citizen in many ways, from extortion to human trafficking. It tampers with the free market by recycling money in seemingly honest activities connected to the criminal groups. It favours and practices corruption of the political representations, slowly eroding away democracy.
It is truly a European problem: while it is more present in some parts of the European Union, its influence extends to every European country. This has been the subject of many journalistic and judiciary investigations. It often affects different societies in different forms: sometimes it’s a lingering economic presence, manipulating markets to its advantage. Other times it’s the influence behind street crime and violence. As a liberal, I always felt it should be fought with all available means of democratic institutions.
After last month, the European Union seems to share this opinion. The Parliament approved the report by a very large majority. This report not only identifies the issue, but also makes huge steps forward in proposing legislations to fight this phenomenon at a European level. Magistrates and judges from Italy, a country deeply afflicted by the problem, called the new European measures to be “ extremely innovative” and “the first real step for the fight against organized crime at a European level”.
The rapporteur for this report is Sonia Alfano, an ALDE MEP. Liberals are once again at the head of the fight against violations of liberties, wherever they might come from. Organized crime takes a toll on the life of European citizens every day: it triplicates the costs of development and progression, like in Calabria or in the Balkans, it abuses the human rights of fellow European citizens and it influences markets with dirty money. It is to be celebrated that such a plague on Europe is now been fought by the European Union itself.