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Home / Resources / News / European Alternatives runs transnational forum on ‘Legality and struggle against mafias in Europe’ in Sofia

European Alternatives runs transnational forum on ‘Legality and struggle against mafias in Europe’ in Sofia


November 19, 2011
The Red House, Sofia (Bulgaria)
Transnational forum
Legality and struggle against mafias in Europe!
A transnational response to the transnational phenomenon of organised crime

Many Europeans are aware that the threat of organised crime on society today is as devastating as terrorism. Organised crime gets entangled with local and national politics and it hinders the economic and social development of several member states. Several mafia groups are increasingly becoming transeuropean, and we are more than ever needed to coordinate actions to fight mafias locally and globally and (re)establish the rule of law at every level of social, economic and political life.
This forum introduces the case of the transnationality of Italian mafias talking about the trafficking of waste across Europe, which is hereby presented as a paradigmatic example of the process of Europeanisation of the mafia and its effects on society. The documentary “Toxic Europe”, the winner of the “Best international Organised Crime Report (BIOCR)” award 2011, a section of Premio Ilaria Alpi ,will be broadcasted as an introduction to the topic. Environmental crimes will also be addressed from a different point of view – that of urban speculation linked to mafia power – posing the case study of Spain.
The transnationality of European mafias will be then addressed in a second topic, which is that of financial crimes: where do the money raised by the organised crime end up? The Balkans and Italy will be taken as case studies by a number of experts.
Moreover the forum will address some possible solutions that could be adopted around Europe to fight the mafias in a more effective way. Confiscation of goods and properties illicitly acquired by organised crime groups is a tool used by several countries, but not everywhere in Europe. Furthermore, making these goods become “public property” to be used for social purposes, as the Italian law legislates, could be proposed as a model for other EU member-states.
The conclusions reached in the forum will be then presented in the final round of the program “People, power and participation” which will take place on 30 November 2011 in Brussels at the European Parliament, so to raise an interest in national and European MPEs and try and develop a common strategy to fight mafia at a European, if not global, level.

For pdf format of press release, click here.


Registration, welcoming and networking
Light refreshment available

People, Power, Participation: the Journey to Sofia
Alessandro Valera, European Alternatives Italy


Why a final forum in Bulgaria?
Rosen Dimov, Flare Network


Environmental crimes, financial crimes and confiscation: overview of the day
Cecilia Anesi, Toxic Europe
13.30 > Part 1
Environmental Crimes in Europe:
the new frontier of transnational organised crime

Discussion moderated by Cecilia Anesi
Environmental crimes are a business: waste trafficking from Italy to Europe
Cecilia Anesi, freelance investigative journalist co-author of “Toxic Europe”
13. 45
Screening of the documentary “Toxic Europe”
How toxic waste is trafficked across Europe by Italian mafias
14. 15
How corruption in small municipalities affect democracy and the environment: the case of Spain
Nacho González, lawyer of De Amicizia (Law firm specialised in the environment).
Open discussion

Coffee Break


15:15 > Part 2
From environmental crimes to financial crimes:
what happens to the money illegally raised by mafia groups?

Discussion moderated by Rosen Dimov
Financial crimes in Europe: the role of mafias
Marjola Rukaj, journalist of Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
Political corruption, organised crime and money-laundering: the case of Bulgaria
Iva Pushkarova, international criminal law researcher specialised in organised crime, Justice and Development Fundation
Money laundering: the case of Cosa Nostra’s investment in real estates
Febo Ulderico della Torre di Valsassina, Universiy of Camerino
Open discussion
16:15 >Part 3
What can civil society do?
Confiscation as a powerful tool to fight the organised crime in Europe.

Discussion moderated by Luigi Cornaglia
Overview of confiscation laws in the EU
Lorenzo Bodrero, FLARE Network – Fabrice Rizzoli, FLARE Network France
The experience of Serbia
Vladimir Ceklic, Head of Department Directorate for Management of Confiscated Assets,
Ministry of Justice Serbia
The experience of Bulgaria
Ivanka Ivanova, Open Society Institute
Iva Pushkarova, Justice Development Foundation
The experience of Germany
Luigi Cornaglia, Mafia Nein Danke
Open Discussion

Coffee break


17:45 > Part 4
Take Action:
can coordinated action on these themes be developed across Europe?

Moderated by Alessandro Valera
Discussion on themes
Working groups
Participants split in working groups according to interest to plan the first step of a European campaign