EU efforts to tackle organised crime have been given a boost after the European Parliament voted in favour of a plan with a raft of measures targeting the criminal groups.
Proposals in the 2014-2015 action plan include confiscation of criminals’ assets, abolishing bank secrecy and eliminating EU tax havens.
“We need major judical cooperation, major police cooperation, with all member states; we need more harmonisation of the legislation. And we need to believe, all together, that we can fight transnational crime, corruption and money laundering if there is better exchange of information and a strong political will,” said Salvatore Iacolino, spokesperson for the action plan and an MEP from the centre-right group.
MEPs backing the plan also want people found guilty of offences linked to organised crime to be banned from holding public office or bidding for state contracts.
Green group MEP Rui Tavares told euronews the adoption of the action plan is a positive move, but more is needed.
“It’s taking the right steps, for instance in asking for the creation of a European public prosecutor office. I think it is an important office because it would give the EU part of a judicial system that we do need, but it will be created in full separation of powers,” said Tavares.
Under the plan, penalties would be increased for criminals involved in human trafficking and forced labour and there would be better protection for the victims.