Tackling Illegal Economy project has been imagined and developed to produce information and awarness on risks connected with organised criminality, and to disseminate knowledge and best practices on tools and methods to fight it, with particular attention to the economic dimension of the phenomenon and to the confiscation of assets among EU Countries.

An aim to be achieved structuring a network of partners tha could allow the interaction among Ngos representing civil society as Libera, Mafia? Nein Danke!, European Alternatives, Re-Common, Flare, Terra del Fuoco, B.I.B.O., A.L.D.A, together with the academic world thanks to Middlesex University, L’Università degli Studi di Palermo and Universidad Juan Carlos de Madrid.

Tackling Illegal Economy project has set its work on two fundamental direction: the study and research activities, conducted by academics, journalists and researchers, and the dissemination activities, realised both connecting relevant actors from different national context, and spreading awarness on best practices to fight against organised crime among citizens.

In particular Tackling Illegal Economy project has individuated in confiscation of assets and their use for social purposes, the key element through which is possible to obtain significant results in weakening organised crime groups.

Europol Established in more than 3600 organised criminal groups, operating at national and transnational level in Europe, and managing a large and probably growing circle of affairs. Illicit traffics and illegal markets are at the base of their wealth. However, at the same time, it’s important to pay attention on the emerging economic activities connected with organised crime, just apparently acting through legal behaviours, but disvealing another dangerous side. In fact, all recent investigations describe organised criminality becoming more and more expert in moving capitals accross Europe and around the world, able to transform “dirty money” in firms, economic activities, financial resources, real estates. Organised criminality is nowadays a transnational phenomenon, able to profit of the opportunities offered by the EU Single Market: it’s expansion makes necessary to build seriuous obstacles through an improved legislation, and through the ability of institutions and civil society to put in place all the adequate legal, economic and social tools to fight organised crime.

In that sense, the recent approval of the European Directive on Confiscation can stimulate real progresses in this field, starting from its implementation at Member State level, and from the adoption of more integrated forms of cooperation in both investigations and the application of confiscation measures. The improvement of mutual cooperation among national and european authorities and the creation of an advanced legislation in terms of fight to corruption and financial crimes cannot be postponed anymore.

For that reason, Tackling Illegal Economy project has promoted raising awarnesses initiative, researches, meetings, in order to involve relevant stakeholders in the process that should lead to provide European Union, Member States, and more in general our societies and economies, of the most advanced tools in terms of contrast to the economic power of organised crime.

A challenge that, in our view, should involve not only institutions, both in the legislative process and in the repressive action, but the whole of the citizens: only consciousness of population can broke corrupted links and a distorted form of consensus that makes organised crime so powerful and socially dangerous.

The involvment of citizens, Ngos, associations results fundamental, for example, precisely in the application of confiscation measure and the realization of social activities through confiscated criminal assets. In that sense, the diffusion and the promotion of best practice of social re-use of criminal assets has been a relevant part of the events and the researches provided by Tackling Illegal Economy project.

TIE Project at a glance

TIE aims at creating the grounds for collaboration between the public institutions, judges, civil society and the academic world in identifying and promoting the best ways to undermine the profitability of crime by means of the aggression to criminal assets.



The general objectives of the project are:

  • to gather and share information on the best methods to fight financial and economic crime;
  • to identify and diffuse the best practices in the investigation, confiscation and recovery of criminal assets.


Its specific objectives are:

  • to promote the best practices on the re-use of confiscated assets;
  • to develop partnerships and collaboration between the civil society, the academic world and the institutions; to transfer civil society’s experience to public actors, in order to assist them in the re-use of confiscated assets.
  • To have the best practices in the filed analysed and implemented by experts in the form of recommendations, assessed against real-world scenarios.




  • Action 1, Introductive Seminars:

A dedicated cycle of seminars will be held, focusing on the developments in the research and analysis of the criminal phenomena; economic activities of criminal organisations; impact of illegal economies on licit economy.


  • Action 2, International round table tour:

In each Country, a 2-day round table will be held, with the participation of international guests and experts, and open to the public. The round tables will be held in:

2.1: London, UK;
2.2: Paris, France;
2.3: Stara Zagora, Bulgaria;
2.4: Berlin, Germany;
2.5: Brussels, Belgium


  • Action 3, Researches.

Investigations will be realised, to collect the elements for a subsequent benchmarking

3.1: Multidisciplinary research on the international law framework, to identify the best solutions available for confiscation and recovery.
3.2: Independent journalists will investigate cases of criminal infiltrations in licit economy, to draw scenarios where the solutions can be verified.
3.3: Financial investigation on real world study cases.


  • Action 4, Seminars, second round.

The results gathered during Actions 2 and 3 will be presented at OLE 2014, in a thematic thread; the participants in Actions 2 and 3 will draft a Document of Recommendations on the best practices in the fight against economic and financial crime.


  • Action 5, Network and Benchmark.

This action is aimed at giving both continuity and a practical application to the work. The results of Action 3 and Action 4 will serve as the basis for two complementary activities:

5.1, Network: an informal network of all involved actors will analyse and implement the Document of Recommendations, and continue exchanging and disseminating information on the best practices in the fight against illegal economy.
5.2, Benchmark: a team of experts will compare the results of the researches, in order to verify the efficacy of the suggested best practices against real-world scenarios. This benchmarking will be submitted to further analysis by the informal network, to gather expert opinions and to write the final version of the Document of Recommendations.


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