Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 261–281 | Cite as

The incantations of the EU organised crime policy making

  • P. C. van Duyne
  • T. Vander Beken


This article provides an analysis of the knowledge base of organised crime assessments and policy making in the European Union. It is argued that the current European organised crime (threat) assessments are no reliable and relevant instruments to make meaningful statements about organised crime. The data collection system of the current assessments is defective and to a large extent dependant on what Member States decide to disclose and not based on clear developed concepts, definitions and methods. There is no discernable “counting unit” as a basis for deducing threats or risks. More fundamental: the definition or criteria list used is defective, providing no basis for further deductions or conclusions. The conclusions of the open versions of the European reports are of a very general nature, not substantially different from what can be found in open sources. Though European decision making claims to be founded on these assessments, it looks more like a ritual incantation than a knowledge based process.


Member State Drug Trafficking Illegal Immigration Criminal Organisation Criminal Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Empirical Penal ScienceTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute for International Research on Criminal PolicyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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