From 26 to 30 September 2022, the second edition of the European Commission’s Crime Fighting Week took place in Brussels. Bringing together over 150 policymakers and practitioners from projects, agencies and institutions dedicated to fighting transnational organised crime, it was the occasion to take stock of this evolving global threat. It was also an opportunity to foster closer cooperation and coordination between these actors and bring greater coherence to overall EU actions to combat organised crime.
Over the course of five days, 14 panels were hosted, with more than 50 speakers. Represented institutions included a variety of stakeholders, including the European Commission through the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, DG HOME, DG NEAR and DG INTPA; as well as EUROPOL; GI-TOC; UNODC; INTERPOL; the Council of Europe; ICCWC. Represented projects included GIFP components, COPOLAD, CFT-AML, MAOC (N), EL PAcCTO, EUROMED, amongst others.
Aiming to bring closer the internal and external EU action against organised crime discussions during the first two days focused on EMPACT priorities, namely High Risk Criminal Networks and Drugs. In the remaining days discussions covered the international and European dimensions of drug trafficking, environmental crime, illicit financial flows, use of new technologies in organised crime, and many more. Interactive sessions mixing presentations and open-floor discussions allowed participants to examine both theoretical and practical aspects behind combatting organised crime.
Crime Fighting Week also provided the space for project coordination meetings where partners could identify synergies and discuss opportunities for closer cooperation. During the GIFP Steering Committee, team leaders of the eight component actions presented advances on broadening the focus of interdiction beyond drugs and strengthening cross-border investigations and prosecutions.
In addition, side events took place throughout the week, including the first working group on General Aviation organised by MASIF, the SEACOP Steering Committee, and the official launch of the GI-TOC study ‘An analytic review of past responses to environmental crime and programming recommendations for future actions’.
With 93 projects and programmes around the world, and close to 1 billion euros dedicated to them, the EU is committed to fighting transnational crime, both within and beyond its borders. Crime Fighting Week was in line with this commitment as global efforts against organised crime require a coordinated response at national, regional, and international levels.