Mediterranean Security and Organised Crime: The Mediterranean Matters

Organised crime, it seems, knows no boundaries. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Crime, now open for signature, poses a difficult set of challenges to governments seeking to combat organised networks of an increasingly global nature. One such challenge is to the European Union’s Mediterranean security policy, currently in flux. If illegal activities which begin in China end up in Casablanca, Gibraltar or New York, does it still make sense to try and contain them within the Mediterranean basin alone? Can Europe ignore the corruption, poverty and violence in which global crime thrives?

The World Today
Published 1 March 2001 Updated 26 October 2020 6 minute READ

It was perhaps no accident that the un’s conference on organised crime launching the new Convention took place in the Mediterranean city of Palermo, the centre of traditional Mafiosi networks that the new transnationalism has begun to replace in less than a decade. The Mediterranean region may not be the only source of this new set of threats to the individual and collective authority of governments, but Italy features large as one of the routes through which organised traffickers of drugs, money and people move.

A joint initiative in February by Italian Prime Minister Guiliano Amato and his British counterpart Tony Blair to stem the flow of illegal migrants, especially from the Balkans, was a reminder of the political force of the issue.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.