Saturday

22nd Feb 2020

Migrant smuggling tops EU crime priorities

  • Migrant smuggling tops the list of EU priorities among member states, when it comes to organised crime (Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC)

Preventing the arrival of immigrants with no legal rights to the EU is more important, in terms of EU policy priorities among member states, than fighting terrorism and online child pornography.

Erkki Koort, who chairs an internal security group at the European Council, representing member states, told MEPs on Tuesday (10 October) that fighting "the facilitation of illegal migration" involves more EU states than any other crime.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

"For the upcoming [EU policy] cycle, the areas with the biggest number of member states participating are first [against] the facilitation of illegal migration," he said.

Human trafficking ranked second, followed by synthetic drugs and then more conventional narcotics like cannabis and cocaine. Koort then listed weapons trafficking and child sexual exploitation as near the bottom of the priorities. Other big ticket issues included value-added tax fraud, which followed child sexual exploitation.

While he noted the importance of fighting terrorism, he said it shouldn't act as a distraction against "extremely important aspects of security, notably organised crime."

The EU Council had in May outlined the same policy priorities when it comes to combatting organised crime but did not rank them in terms of importance.

Koort was discussing the same priorities but in the wider context of the upcoming so-called 'EU policy cycle' that stretches from 2018 until 2021.

Part of that assessment stems from a report by the EU police agency, Europol, which in March declared the existence of more than 5,000 international organised crime groups currently under investigation in the EU.

Europol keen to bend rules on Libya cases

EU police agency says privacy and data protection rights getting in the way of information exchange with Libyan authorities on migrant smuggling.

MEPs propose taking in over 200,000 refugees

MEPs in the civil liberties committee voted in favour of taking in more refugees than the Commission wants to or than member states are likely to accept.

MEPs: EU migrant quotas do have a future

The EU Parliament's lead negotiator on the Dublin rule, a key asylum regulation that has sparked a political clash among EU states, is now demanding for an automatic and permanent relocation scheme.

Insight

How big is Germany's far-right problem?

The Hanau shooting was a national wake-up call to the scale of far-right extremism in Germany, from violent individuals to political hate speech.

News in Brief

  1. Bulgarian PM investigated over 'money laundering'
  2. Greenpeace breaks into French nuclear plant
  3. Germany increases police presence after shootings
  4. NGO: US and EU 'watering-down' tax reform prior to G20
  5. Iran: parliamentary elections, conservatives likely to win
  6. Belgian CEOs raise alarm on political crisis
  7. Germans voice anger on rise of far-right terrorism
  8. EU leaders' budget summit drags on overnight

Polish 'LGBTI-free zones' not ok, says EU commission

The European Commissioner for equality Helena Dalli has said the distribution of 'LGBTI-free zones' stickers or the adoption of anti-LGBTI resolutions cannot be allowed. Some 86 towns in Poland have so far declared themselves 'LGBTI-free zones'.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  2. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December

Latest News

  1. No breakthrough at EU budget summit
  2. EU leaders struggling to break budget deadlock
  3. German ex-commissioner Oettinger lands Orban job
  4. How big is Germany's far-right problem?
  5. Plastic and carbon proposals to help plug Brexit budget gap
  6. Sassoli repeats EU budget rejection warning
  7. Why Miroslav Lajčák is the wrong choice for EU envoy
  8. Unhappy EU leaders begin budget haggle

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us