Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Tampere Results: "A Unionwide Fight Against Crime"|0|RAPID&lg=EN



The European Council is deeply committed to reinforcing the fight against serious organised and transnational crime. The high level of safety in the area of freedom, security and justice presupposes an efficient and comprehensive approach in the fight against all forms of crime. A balanced development of unionwide measures against crime should be achieved while protecting the freedom and legal rights of individuals and economic operators.

Preventing crime at the level of the Union

The European Council calls for the integration of crime prevention aspects into actions against crime as well as for the further development of national crime prevention programmes. Common priorities should be developed and identified in crime prevention in the external and internal policy of the Union and be taken into account when preparing new legislation.

The exchange of best practices should be developed, the network of competent national authorities for crime prevention and co-operation between national crime prevention organisations should be strengthened and the possibility of a Community funded programme should be explored for these purposes. The first priorities for this co-operation could be juvenile, urban and drug-related crime.

Stepping up co-operation against crime

Maximum benefit should be derived from co-operation between Member States' authorities when investigating cross-border crime in any Member State. The European Council calls for joint investigative teams as foreseen in the Treaty to be set up without delay, as a first step, to combat trafficking in drugs and human beings as well as terrorism. The rules to be set up in this respect should allow representatives of Europol to participate, as appropriate, in such teams in a support capacity.

The European Council calls for the establishment of a European Police Chiefs operational Task Force to exchange, in co-operation with Europol, experience, best practices and information on current trends in cross-border crime and contribute to the planning of operative actions.

Europol has a key role in supporting unionwide crime prevention, analyses and investigation. The European Council calls on the Council to provide Europol with the necessary support and resources. In the near future its role should be strengthened by means of receiving operational data from Member States and authorising it to ask Member States to initiate, conduct or coordinate investigations or to create joint investigative teams in certain areas of crime, while respecting systems of judicial control in Member States.

To reinforce the fight against serious organised crime, the European Council has agreed that a unit (EUROJUST) should be set up composed of national prosecutors, magistrates, or police officers of equivalent competence, detached from each Member State according to its legal system. EUROJUST should have the task of facilitating the proper coordination of national prosecuting authorities and of supporting criminal investigations in organised crime cases, notably based on Europol's analysis, as well as of co-operating closely with the European Judicial Network, in particular in order to simplify the execution of letters rogatory. The European Council requests the Council to adopt the necessary legal instrument by the end of 2001.

A European Police College for the training of senior law enforcement officials should be established. It should start as a network of existing national training institutes. It should also be open to the authorities of candidate countries.

Without prejudice to the broader areas envisaged in the Treaty of Amsterdam and in the Vienna Action Plan, the European Council considers that, with regard to national criminal law, efforts to agree on common definitions, incriminations and sanctions should be focused in the first instance on a limited number of sectors of particular relevance, such as financial crime (money laundering, corruption, Euro counterfeiting), drugs trafficking, trafficking in human beings, particularly exploitation of women, sexual exploitation of children, high tech crime and environmental crime.

Serious economic crime increasingly has tax and duty aspects. The European Council therefore calls upon Member States to provide full mutual legal assistance in the investigation and prosecution of serious economic crime.

The European Council underlines the importance of addressing the drugs problem in a comprehensive manner. It calls on the Council to adopt the 2000-2004 European Strategy against Drugs before the European Council meeting in Helsinki.

Special action against money laundering

Money laundering is at the very heart of organised crime. It should be rooted out wherever it occurs. The European Council is determined to ensure that concrete steps are taken to trace, freeze, seize and confiscate the proceeds of crime.

Member States are urged to implement fully the provisions of the Money Laundering Directive, the 1990 Strasbourg Convention and the Financial Action Task Force recommendations also in all their dependent territories.

The European Council calls for the Council and the European Parliament to adopt as soon as possible the draft revised directive on money laundering recently proposed by the Commission.

With due regard to data protection, the transparency of financial transactions and ownership of corporate entities should be improved and the exchange of information between the existing financial intelligence units (FIU) regarding suspicious transactions expedited. Regardless of secrecy provisions applicable to banking and other commercial activity, judicial authorities as well as FIUs must be entitled, subject to judicial control, to receive information when such information is necessary to investigate money laundering. The European Council calls on the Council to adopt the necessary provisions to this end.

The European Council calls for the approximation of criminal law and procedures on money laundering (e.g. tracing, freezing and confiscating funds). The scope of criminal activities which constitute predicate offences for money laundering should be uniform and sufficiently broad in all Member States.

The European Council invites the Council to extend the competence of Europol to money laundering in general, regardless of the type of offence from which the laundered proceeds originate.

Common standards should be developed in order to prevent the use of corporations and entities registered outside the jurisdiction of the Union in the hiding of criminal proceeds and in money laundering. The Union and Member States should make arrangements with third country offshore-centres to ensure efficient and transparent co-operation in mutual legal assistance following the recommendations made in this area by the Financial Action Task Force.

The Commission is invited to draw up a report identifying provisions in national banking, financial and corporate legislation which obstruct international co-operation. The Council is invited to draw necessary conclusions on the basis of this report.