The international nature of organised crime is a fact. According to Europol’s 2021 Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA), 70% of criminal groups operating in the European Union are active in more than three EU countries, and 65% of them are composed of members of more than one nationality. In this scenario, supported by the inquiries and investigations of the judiciary and law enforcement, it is necessary to build networks and to give global answers to a global problem, which is organised crime. For years we have continued to witness chronic problems in our “House of Europe” such as the amount of people falling into trafficking networks, the persistence of wars and violence, and the gap in the opportunities to access education, health care, infrastructure and decent living conditions for the people living in the continent. While it is true that organised crime finds its most fertile ground in social injustice and inequality, 20 years after the United Nations Palermo Convention and after more than two years of global pandemic, we, European civil society gathered in the CHANCE Network, call for the creation of a more equitable society as a powerful tool to eliminate organised crime and corruption. We ask Europe and the European institutions to involve civil society as its role is crucial to achieve this goal. The scandal that has swept through the European Parliament in recent months should serve as a reminder and a call to action for civil society, to take the lead and start raising awareness in their communities to make their representatives aware of our priorities for the Europe of the future. We call on political leaders and political parties to commit, each one according to their functions and mandate, to give real answers to our demands.
We have a CHANCE FOR EUROPE. We cannot waste it.
In light of this and in the framework of our Erasmus+ initiative EU Youth in Action, our network has created a Manifesto, a call to action to request the commitment of our representatives in Europe on five most stringent issues:
- Organised crime as a European problem.
- Reclaiming common good(s) from organised crime.
- Corruption, the public administration and civil society.
- Protection, justice and reparation for victims of organised crime and human trafficking and their families.
- Protecting the environment and public health from the ecomafias.
The Manifesto will be officially presented at the European Parliament on the 7th of December 2023 and it will be the foundation of our work in Europe ahead of the next European Parliament elections.