Commission urged to take action against 'Mafia-style crime'

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The author of the mid-term report of the European Parliament's specially-convened Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering Committee has warned that "the tendrils of corruption are affecting civil servants and police forces across Europe".

Speaking on 10 June 2013, Italian centre-right MEP Salvatore Iacolino said the EU needed to "restore the confidence of our citizens and honest businessmen".

The committee was set up on a temporary basis in 2012 following concerns about the recurrence of Mafia-style activities in many European countries.

He said that companies found guilty of corruption in public procurement in one country should be banned from bidding for public tenders in any other EU country.

His report calls for a European public prosecutor to be appointed to protect the EU's financial interests, a move backed by the Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

However, she rejected the report's call for the Commission to bring in new laws setting out a common EU-wide definition of organised crime.

She said there were "longstanding international laws that cover a wide range of corruption issues", adding: "The shortcomings are about unsatisfactory implementation of these laws by national governments."

Conservative home affairs spokesman, Timothy Kirkhope, warned that the mid-term report was becoming a "Christmas tree, in danger of collapsing under the sheer weight of ideas".

He said the committee's final report should be more concise and focused, and added that the best antidote to cross-border crime was "the sharing of information with appropriate safeguards".

The report was formally adopted during the daily voting session on 11 June 2013.

Useful links.

The European Parliament's disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations can be found here.

Read Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work here.

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