The European Union and Organized Crime: The securitization of organized crime and its embedment in the construction of a risk-based security policy
Title: The European Union and Organized Crime: The securitization of organized crime and its embedment in the construction of a risk-based security policy
Author: CARRAPIÇO, Helena
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2010
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
In its current discourse, the European Union depicts organized crime as a growing threat to democracy, to the functioning of markets and to the safety of its citizens. The EU’s discourse presents this phenomenon as an external aggressor that is taking advantage of the free circulation and establishment entailed by the Single Market, of the globalization in general and of technological advances in particular. European societies, on the other hand, are understood as helpless victims, as their traditional responses are no longer able to cope with the recently acquired transnational dimension of organized crime. Following this reasoning, the EU has been developing protection mechanisms- in order to safeguard the citizens and the society in general against organized crime-, based on a so- called common understanding of this phenomenon. Because of this effort, it has been possible to witness the strengthening of police and judicial cooperation, the development of comprehensive strategies and programmes, and the creation of new bodies and working groups to face this problem, all in the name of a greater efficiency. This trend has gradually been accentuated through the introduction of new legislation and the pressure of particular events such as the Falcone and Borsellino assassinations in 1992 and the high- profile terrorist attacks of 2001, 2004 and 2005. The outcome of this process has been the setting up of a complex structure made of numerous repressive and preventive instruments, where law enforcement agencies have gained increased powers and the emphasis has been put on security rather than on the liberty of European citizens. Bearing this background in mind, this research project aims at understanding how organized came to be considered by the European Union as such a serious threat. Departing from a social constructivist approach, it wishes to gain a deeper knowledge of the European Union’s understanding of organized crime and to underline its constructed character. In particular, the project attempts to look into the securitization of organized crime through the specific cases of three EU agencies: Europol, Eurojust and Frontex. The Copenhagen School’s theoretical background, together with discourse analysis, are used to trace how each of these three institutions contributed to the securitization of organized crime and the constitution of the current discourse on organized crime.
LC Subject Heading: Security, International -- Europe; Organized crime -- European Union countries
Defense Date: 14/06/2010; Examining Board: Prof. Friedrich Kratochwil, European University Institute (Supervisor) Prof. Sven Steinmo, European University Institute Prof. Jef Huysmans, The Open University Prof. Monica den Boer, Police Academy of the Netherlands/VU University Amsterdam
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