Transnational Organized Crime and International Security: Business as Usual?

By Mats Berdal; Mónica Serrano | Go to book overview

8
Law-Enforcement Cooperation
and Transnational Organized
Crime in Europe
Monica den Boer

Since the 1970s, the member states of the European Union (EU) have been working together to combat transnational crime. A basis has been established for some degree of institutionalization in police and judicial cooperation. Yet the framing of strategies against transnational crime remains firmly in the hands of national policymakers, and the implementation of EU instruments tends to be far from satisfactory.

This chapter looks at the history of European cooperation in law enforcement; explains how EU bodies have analyzed and defined organized crime; reviews and assesses the EU's instruments for the control of organized crime and related areas, such as fraud, corruption, and the drug trade; and finally sheds light on the policy trends in justice and home-affairs cooperation in the EU.


Law-Enforcement Cooperation
in the EU: The Case of Europol

Law-enforcement collaboration between European states dates back to the 1970s and the establishment of the “Trevi Group. ” Trevi was designed to provide a basis for greater European cooperation to combat terrorism (den Boer and Wallace 2000, p. 494). Its primary concern involved a wide array of political issues related to the implications on policing and national security due to a reduction in border controls between European states. Although its meetings were informal and opaque, Trevi paved the way for intelligence-pooling and knowledge-sharing about law-enforcement techniques and equipment.

Three aspects of Trevi are noteworthy in view of the later development

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