January 2014

Volume 11, Issue 1

In ThIs Issue

Editorial note

Happy 2014 from the
Standing Group on Organised Crime
by FALKO A. ERNST and ANNA SERGI (Editors)
Centre for Criminology, University of Essex


hese past months have been quite lish the research findings of a project on
busy for the members of the ECPR public corruption in Australia carried out
Standing Group on Organised Crime. by the Australian Institute of Criminology.
After the success of the ECPR General Following, Antonio de Bonis shares a poConference in Bordeaux in September lice assessment of Euroasian criminal
2013, the SGOC memgroups in Italy and their
bers are not putting tomodus operandi with local
gether a new section for
organisations. For the
Don’t miss the
the General Conference
methodology series, Eliska
in Glasgow in September
the ECPR General Dropalova has produced
2014. Moreover, the
an interesting approach on
SGOC has been busy
researching corruption and
2014 in Glasgow!
with launching the new
anti-corruption. Last but
issue of the European
not least, Dario Giancane
Review on Organised
shares with the reader reCrime, our new editorial project, and with flections on the European Union framethe organisation of a summer school, de- work for asylum seekers.
tails of which can be found on our webith this good start, the members of
the ECPR Standing Group on Orhis issue of newsletter features, as ganised Crime wish you a great start of
usual, a number of very interesting this new year and hope to see you in one
contributions. We are very lucky to pub- of the ECPR events very soon!


Organised crime & public
sector corruption. A study from
by Russell G Smith, Elizabeth
Rowe, Tabor Akman and Adam M.
Page 2
Georgian Organised Crime
Groups in today’s Italy
by Antonio de Bonis
Page 4
Researching variation in subnational corruption. Some methodological remarks.
by Eliska Drapalova
Page 6
Dublin System: the problematic piece of CEAS' puzzle
by Dario Giancane
Page 8
Page 10


ECPR General Conference

3 - 6 September 2014
University of Glasgow


ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime
January 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1

Organised crime &
public sector corruption.
A study from Australia.
by Russell G Smith, Elizabeth Rowe, Tabor Akman and Adam M Tomison
Dr Russell G Smith is Principal Criminologist at the Australian Institute of Criminology. Elizabeth Rowe is a graduate of
Queensland University of Technology. Tabor
Akman is a Manager in the Fraud Control
Section of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Dr Adam M Tomison is Director and CEO of the Australian
Institute of Criminology.
Organised crime has received increased
attention from policy makers in recent times
with the enactment of legislation and other
interventions that have sought to control this
serious form of criminality. Although the success of such interventions in reducing organised crime has yet to be fully evaluated,
prior research has identified certain risks associated with policy responses that could, arguably,
consequences (Guerette & Bowers 2009;
Smith, Wolanin & Worthington 2003). One
potential consequence of enhanced legislation and regulation is so-called ‘tactical crime
displacement’ – namely that criminals may
modify their tactics in order to circumvent the
effects of new legislation or increased law
enforcement activity, thus allowing them to
continue to offend with a reduced risk of detection or criminal justice action taking place.
One particular risk of tactical crime displacement is the potential for organised crime
groups to focus more on forming corrupt relationships with public officials in order to obtain information that minimises risks of
detection and prosecution. In doing so, reliance on information and communications
technologies is critical.
An example of this occurred in Australia
between 2006 and 2008. It was found that a
former Assistant Director of Investigations at
a government anti-organised crime agency,
had become involved with a drug trafficking
organisation and the importation of 300kg of
pseudoephedrine, a precursor chemical
used in the manufacture of methamphetamines. At the time of his arrest, he had been
with the agency for 12 years (Supreme Court
of New South Wales 2011).
The association began when the investigator became friends with a known international drug trafficker with connections to
money laundering operations. Following his
arrest for related offences, the drug trafficker
acted as an informant to the agency with the
former Assistant Director Investigations
being one of his handlers. The former Assistant Director Investigations began his crimi-

nal activities when he entered into an agreement with his informant and a legitimate businessman to import a large quantity of
pseudoephedrine concealed in a container
of rice, which was being sent to the food importing and distribution business run by the
business associate. The informant’s connections with Dutch organised crime syndicates
were used to access the illegal substances.
The former Assistant Director’s motivations for becoming involved in the criminal organisation were clearly financial gain, to
clear himself of his debts and to provide for
his family. It is believed that these debts may
have been a result of a mortgage and his wi-

fe’s psychological and health problems (alcoholism). There was also an indication of
his excessive spending in which he bought
his mistress expensive gifts and took lavish
holidays. However, the money received from
the criminal enterprise was far beyond the
amount needed to satisfy these expenses
(Supreme Court of New South Wales 2011).
Throughout the investigation into his
conduct, he was recorded using his professional knowledge and experience to advise
the businessman on the steps to take to lessen the risk of the criminal organisation being
detected. Specifically, he advised on what
law enforcement procedures would be used

Table 1: Crime scripts analysis of the corruption of a public official by a drug
trafficker through the use of information and communications technologies


ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime
January 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1

in relation to the shipment. Using his personal contacts made through his position, he
made enquiries about the status of a shipment of rice and whether it had come to the
attention of Customs, reporting his findings
to the businessman. The investigation also
uncovered several email communications
between the informant and the accused illustrating his key role in the trafficking of the
substances (Supreme Court of New South
Wales 2011).
It was established that the former Assistant Director Investigations had corruptly
advised his conspirators and had used the
resources available to him to further facilitate
the criminal enterprise. He was charged with
conspiring to import; knowingly taking part in
the supply of a large commercial quantity of
prohibited drugs; and conspiring to pervert
the course of justice. In December 2011, he
was found guilty of all three charges and
sentenced to 22 years imprisonment with a
non-parole period of 16 years (Supreme
Court of New South Wales 2011).
This case illustrates how organised criminals can target public officials to disclose
information relevant to the facilitation of organised criminal activity. Rowe, Akman,
Smith and Tomison (2013) have analysed
the process of corruption of public servants
using the notion of ‘crime scripts’, as developed by Cornish (1994), and applied this to
the case study described above. Table 1
shows the specific crime scripts that relate to
the use of information and communications
technologies (ICT) in the process of corruption. Various situational crime prevention solutions based on Ekblom’s (2011) 5Is
approach to crime prevention were then
identified as ways of minimising risks of this
nature (Table 2).
The use of crime scripts analysis for understanding and preventing public sector
corruption by organised crime groups has
much to offer as a means of reducing serious
and organised crime. By exploring the extent
and nature of crime displacement effects resulting from recent policy initiatives, and then
analysing the crime scripts that arise in connection with the displaced criminal activity, it
is possible to identify a number of opportunities for early intervention to ensure that risks
of corruption are minimised. The effectiveness of using crime scripts analysis and Ekblom’s 5Is in combination has been shown
by Rowe et al (2013) and should be developed and investigated further.
Although this approach has illuminated
the specific process of corruption employed
by criminal organisations, further evidence is
required to delineate the relationship between organised crime groups and corruption
in the public sector more fully. With a sound
evidence base and a better understanding of
the crime scripts employed (such as could be
obtained through interviewing convicted offenders), situational crime prevention frame-

Table 2: Application of the 5Is framework to the crime scripts analysis of
the corruption of the former Assistant Director Investigations at the NSW Crime

works, such as Ekblom’s 5Is framework,
could then be applied to assist in understanding the crime commission process and to
reveal suitable points for effective intervention and the prevention of attempts to corrupt
public officials.
Cornish D B 1994. The procedural analysis of offending and its relevance for situational prevention, in
Clarke R V (ed), Crime prevention studies, Vol. 3. Monsey, New York: Criminal Justice Press: 151–196
Ekblom P 2011. Crime prevention, security and
community safety using the 5Is framework. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Guerette R T & Bowers K J 2009. Assessing the
extent of crime displacement and diffusion of benefits:
A review of situational crime prevention evaluations. Criminology 47(4): 1331–1368
Rowe E, Akman T, Smith R G & Tomison A M 2013.
Organised crime and public sector corruption: A crime
scripts analysis of tactical displacement risk’, in Trends
and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, No. 444, Australian
Smith R G, Wolanin N & Worthington G 2003. Ecrime solutions and crime displacement. Trends & Issues in Criminal Justice no. 243. Canberra: Australian
Institute of Criminology. http://www.aic. gov.au/publications/current%20series/ tandi/241-260/tandi243.aspx
Supreme Court of New South Wales 2011. Remarks on sentence. [2011] NSWSC 1422 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2011/1422.html

Who is Who
Steering Committee 2012-2017
Felia Allum,
University of Bath
Francesca Longo,
University of Catania
Social Media Officer:
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Anglia Ruskin University
Funding Officer:
Daniela Irrera
University of Catania
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Helena Carrapico,
University of Dundee
Strategic Communication:
Panos Kostakos,
University of Bath
Newsletter Editors:
Anna Sergi & Falko Ernst
University of Essex
Online Publication Project
Felia Allum, University of Bath
Anita Lavorgna, University of Trento
Yuliya Zabyelina, University of Edinburgh
Giap Parini
University of Calabria


ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime
January 2014, Volume 11, Issue1

Georgian Organised Crime Groups
in today’s Italy
by Antonio de Bonis
Antonio de Bonis has been in service
in the Carabinieri since 1981, as Senior
Analyst at the Special Operational Grouping, following phenomena of international
and transnational organized crime since
2000. He is also a researcher in matters of
global intelligence and policing.
In the search of evolutive symptoms of
the phenomena of organized crime features the modus operandi of criminal organizations when they want to expand. This
expansions is relatively easy to understand when it comes to criminal organizations that have a culture similar to our own.
It is another thing to acquire the interpretative means of behaviors of criminal communities that come from different cultures
and experiences unknown to us.
In talking of Eurasian crime - crime that
comes from the area that once included
the countries of the former USSR and its
satellites -we need to clarify that it is an
academic, rather than a police-based category. Before proceeding I wish to say
that I am thankful to a virtual conversation
with Prof. Mark Galeotti, profound conoisseur of the Russian-speaking world, who
recently posted on its blog-in Moscow's
Shadows-a post titled: "the other Greek
tragedy: Georgian and Russian / Eurasian
organized crime".
Regarding the penetration of Eurasian
criminal organizations in Italy, this work will
be concerned in particular with Georgian
criminality that, as evidenced by Mark Galeotti, certainly occupies a level of absolute
importance in delinquent Russian-speaking world. Starting immediately from the
result of my studies, we can say that the
presence of Georgian criminality in Italy is
certainly not negligible in terms of the crimes committed and reflects some common characteristics with those found by
Galeotti in Greece and others, very important from the criminological point of view,
certainly different.
It is worth summing up the general situation related to the presence and activities of Italian organized crime in Italy
clarifying that the criminal historical organization of the mafia type, the Sicilian
Mafia and the Camorra of Campania continue to exercise control over their territories orf ancestral reference. The situation
in Puglia, which is disrupted by objective
cultural inconsistency, although criminal, of
the Sacra Corona Unita, is pulviscular and

Antonio de Bonis

fragmented with variegated criminal entities that are competing for individual portions of territory. Different is certainly the
'Ndrangheta, organization that today is
considere to be the true Italian criminal
elite and, in many ways, remarkable worldwide. Foreign criminal organizations act
on the Italian territory and occupying the
empty spaces that the Italian ones, for various reasons, can not or do not consider
useful to fill or engange with. Obviously it
should be pointed out that any relevant criminal activity on the part of foreign organizations must pay a pledge, under
variegated forms, to the Italian groups.
With this in mind, we address the issue
of Eurasian criminality in Italy.
Now the analysis of the information
available on open sources, OSINT (Open
Source Intelligence), integrates the evaluation of indicators of a criminal type in
order to catch as soon as possible, the
evolution of any criminal phenomenon,
known or unknown. This activity has allowed us to capture, in the recent past, a significant increase in burglaries committed
by Georgian citizens, phenomenon that
certainly did not go unnoticed to the police
who have completed several investigations against many Georgian criminals
cells acting in Lombardy, Piedmont and
Lazio. The comparative reading of these
police activities gives us a clear picture of
how these organizations act at the national
and international level by resorting to the
tactics of hit and run, like true predators
scoring a few hits in rapid succession and
then changing city, region or also nation in
order to circumvent any investigative effort.
However, there was one episode in
particular that drew attention, also media-

tic, on this criminal community in Italy: on
January 6, 2012, a Georgian citizen,
TCHURADZE Revaz, was gun-shot in
These two data, the exponential increase of burglaries and thefts committed
by Georgians and this murder, prickled the
interest of the authorities towards this phenomenon by generating a series of investigations that, all in all in a short time,
have allowed us to delineate the operational framework of a Georgian ‘mafia’ in
The first information emerged regards
the predatory nature of illegal activities
committed by Georgian criminality that, to
date, represents a negligible threat to public order, but it is characterized by a costant aggressive pervasiveness, which
reflects situations of lawlessness already
observed in other European countries.
In recent times, in fact, the phenomenon has evolved, attempting to overcome
the measures of prevention and counteraction of the police forces and, perhaps
most importantly, to gain a stronger competitive role compared to other foreign organizations, as for example the Moldavian
one. In particular it has increased, the ability of aggregation of simple common criminals, organized by a leader, in order to
create flexible and structured cells through
the associative model for the commission
of specific crimes.
The research and its analytic study highlight important aspects related to the
prevailing presence of citizens and criminals Georgian units in Italy: a physiological
presence of immigrants which brings in the
presence of a strategic nature of organized
crime from Georgia.
The latter, in particular, acts on two levels:
- Tactical, resorting to a crime of its social impact such as burglary,
- Strategic, more dangerous and part
of a broader objective for the creation of a
network of relationships and logistics for
future initiatives.
The analytical work on the information
obtained, mainly from open sources and
activities carried out by police forces, yet
always in the light of personal experience
gained in many years of activity of contrast
of these forms of organized crime, allows
me to develop a composite scenario from
which it can be assumed that the Georgian
crime in our country, is likely to further


ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime
January 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1

Bari, Puglia, source www.narcomafie.it

evolve towards a more complex and
aggressive form of criminality. The
strengths of this criminal phenomenon, at
least at this stage can be identified as follows:
- in the low profile of the crimes perpetrated;
- in the extreme mobility in the areas;
- in the use of a time-tested criminal criminal;
- in the ethnic bond;
- in the lack of antagonism with the indigenous criminality.
They act as safely for the realization of
the criminal activity in question, by using:
- Nannies, preferably clandestine (as
easy to blackmail), to identify the objectives to hit;
- Financial intermediation services
(money transfer);
- The work done t by professional dealers in precious metals (Buy Gold shops),
often linked to the use of the proceeds of
other crimes for the purpose of money
laundering, use and handling stolen
This criminality is certainly referrable to
the category "migrated mafia groups", recently defined by Anna Sergi and Anita Lavorgna in a recent paper titled "Types of
organized crime in Italy". This category includes the offshoots of the mafia-type criminal organizations transplanted into
territories other than those of reference as
is the case of the Georgian operating in
In essence, and in consideration of the
elements available to date, this form of
ethnic criminality while having the potential

of branching in some areas of the country
do not seem to have the intention to root
or gain control of the territory, considering
their modus operandi of extreme mobility
in the area not only in Italy but also, and
especially in the rest of Europe. As said, in
so doing they frustrate the efforts of Police
Forces attempting to contrast them. However, in my opinion, in the near future the
evolution of the threat will depend largely
from international factors specifically related to drug trafficking routes.
Furthermore, It could soon be realized
a swharing of interests among teams of
criminals of Georgian, Albanian and Italian
origin especially in the management of the
flow of cocaine and heroin from countries
of production to the European consumer
Georgian criminality in Italy today represents for the police a secondary threat,
but as of now to have clear the evolutionary dynamics helps to frame the phenomenon into a new perspective allowing to
reconsider policing approaches.
Also in Italy - like the murder of Tchuradze Revaz goes to show - are visible the
consequences of a violent feud within the
Georgian criminal community between the
two clans of Tbilisi and Kutaisi for the dominance of the Caucasian component in
the Russian criminal world.
This situation, as outlined by other similar facts, is also shared by other European countries such as Belgium, France,
Spain, Germany and of course, as reminded by Mark Galeotti, Greece.
In this work, however, it is not possible,
for obvious necessity of synthesis, to di-

scuss the topic from a European perspective. Also, it would be intersting from an
investigative standpoint to analyse the
measures of contract of this type of criminality, like this of Georgian origin, which,
while not having yet reached the threshold of criminal liability requested in Italy
for mafia-type associations, they are not
and they do not act as mere criminal conspiracies, presenting as of now some of
the typical aspects of mafias.
It is this gap in definition that in essence is being exploited by some organized crime groups in order to obtain the
best result with the minimum risks to their
This is clearly aggravated by the transnational dimension, as described for
example in the UN Convention on Transnational Crime in Palermo, 2000, which
acts in supports of these organizations.
In Italy criminal procedures requires
for the judge of preliminary investigations
to issue orders of remand in custody believing in the simple "social alarm" for the
community, resulting from the existence
of a group of mafia type in an area, while
the trial judge, according to the current
wording of the legislation, can not fail to
verify the intimidating power resulting from
the associative bond of the mafia-type
group. If these requirements are not met,
and they are not in the case of Georgian
groups, a charge for mafia-type assiciation
(article 416bis of the criminal code) cannot
be sustained.
Based on this apparent discrepancy
between prediction rules and operational
reality of organised crime groups we have
to start a reflection on the art.416/bis intself.
Given these considerations it appears
inevitable to reconsider:
- the legal criterion for recognition of a
mafia not only intra-ethnic to other gangs,
as well as the Italian jurisprudence begins
to recognize;
- The concept of territorial control by
virtue of the wealth of investigative experience in contrast to extra-regional activities by the locals of an ethnic-based madia
operating in different territories from the
one of origin.
Too often we discuss how the globalizing processes have modified the criminal
organizations without taking into account
the effects that these mutations have produced in the specific way criminal groups
act. Recognizing the deterritorialization of
mafias also entails admitting that the exercise of violence is not limited to territories
as it is directed at people. As this is obvious, the theme is interesting, and the
whole matter certainly deserves indeed requires a more thorough study.


ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime
January 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1

Methodology Series

Researching variation in sub-national
corruption. Some methodological remarks.
by Eliska Drapalova
Eliska Drapalova is a Researcher at
the European University Institute. Her latest research looks at ways to improve the
quality of local governments.
Investigating corruption, illegal and secretive in nature, forces to pay particular
attention to the research design and methodology. Broadly speaking there are two
main approaches dominating the field of
anti-corruption studies: on the one hand,
studies looking at the micro relationship of
corrupt exchanges and the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats by using small-n
comparative case studies or, in some
cases, ethnography. On the other hand,
with the proliferation of complex corruption
perception indexes, the quantitative analysis of corruption has considerably advanced to the extent that the main effects
and correlates of corruption have become
known. Although these methods moved us
forward in understanding the phenomenon
of corruption, both methods have their limitations which become particularly palpable when one studies factors and
mechanisms causing illegal behavior. Firstly, qualitative methods provide causal
paths and mechanisms of corruption, but
at the same time these are highly embedded in specific cultural and historical settings, which make it very difficult to know
whether such paths and mechanisms are
not endogenous to the selected cases.
Secondly, although quantitative analysis
allows for studying corruption across time
and space, it deals only with correlates
and effects, the causal mechanisms cannot be quantified with certainty. This research note proposes and engages
specifically with the methodological problem of controlled cross-city and crosscountry comparison by researching cause
of variation of level of corruption in European local government.
From 2010 onwards several organizations have been starting to focus their attention to corruption in sub-national
governments such as regions, provinces
but also cities. The reason behind this
move was the increasing of the expenditure and responsibilities of these sub-national
decentralization of the welfare state. This

Eliska Drapalova

new data stream has opened up new possibilities for studying corruption and has
shown new puzzles to be addressed. The
regional and local variation in levels of perceived or experienced corruption is one of
those. Systematic, analytical cross-city
and cross-country comparison could provide a solution to above-mentioned pitfalls.
Combined cross-city and cross-country
comparison would be useful to detect the
extent to which local policy outcomes are
shaped by specific national frameworks
and what kinds of differences can be detected ceteris paribus (Hadj-Abdou,
2013:12). In my research I focus on explanation of causes of variation in level of corruption between cities. In other words, I
am trying to explain why similar cities within one region have such diverse outcomes in terms of quality of government and
To focus on sub-national level is relevant for several reasons. Not only has it
made us finally abandon methodological
nationalism for more multi-level and complex approach, but it also supposes very
elegant solutions to problem of how to
combine qualitative with quantitative approaches. The focus on the sub-national
level makes more plausible to find two
cites or regions which share similar characteristics, the basic condition for comparison almost impossible to achieve at the
national level. It also increases number of
cases for OLS regressions (only Italy and
Spain has more than 7000 cities). Moreover, controlled comparison of local and re-

gional government allows holding constant the traditional suspects of corruption
such as the culture, institutional setting,
political or judicial systems. And at the
same time it allows focusing our attention
to more dynamic and local variables such
as informal institutions, power relations or
social norms which stand behind the diverse outcomes of anti-corruption policies.
In the following, I briefly present one of
the methodological settings for studying
causes of different levels of corruption
among cities situated within identical national or regional institutional settings. Due
to the limited space in this research note,
I will only refer to Italian cities. Selecting
the cases of analysis is one of the most
important tasks in comparative research.
Most notably, in the case of corruption, its
secretive nature further complicates the
selection of cases. First, since my research uses most similar research design for
a “cause of the effect” study, aimed at seeking for all potential factors causing corruption, I choose my cases on the
dependent variable (level of corruption),
because the independent variables are
unknown. This means that the research
design has to deal with some additional
difficulties such as to know beforehand
which city or region could be considered
corrupt or not. Second, choosing the
cases on the dependent variable compels
to consider its maximal variance and therefore to include cases both where corruption is present and where is not. In other
words, in order to disentangle causal mechanisms we need to compare two cities
that are identical in all respects except that
one is corrupt, whereas the other is considered a virtuous case.
The pairing of these cities helps me to
avoid the problems of research design leading to predetermined results, known as
“cherry picking”, that occur when the dependent variable is known (Mahoney and
Goertz, 2004:654). It supposes not only a
previous knowledge about which
region/city is corrupt or not, but also that
these cities have to be clustered within
same country/region, in order to control as
many factors as possible. Fortunately, nowadays we can count on numerous disaggregated corruption indexes based on

ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime
January 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1

Lecce, Puglia, Italy, source: www.corriereitaliano.com

tries where we observe large variation or
level of corruption; in other words, I search
for countries which have in its territory both
virtuous regions and regions or cities with
problems of corruption. Italy is a perfect
case study, since it has fame of being not
only disproportionately corrupt, but also of
having geographical disparities between
north and south of Italy. Following the
above mentioned criteria I establish two
pairs of cities both in South Italy one in
Apulia (Lecce and Brindisi) and second in
Sicily (Ragusa and Siracusa). Although
close to each other, having similar history
and economic structure, one city is a dynamic southern city (Lecce and Ragusa),
while the other is struggling with corruption
and criminality (Brindisi and Syracuse).
Apart from moving away from methodological nationalism, where the state is
the sole and whole unit of analysis, toward
more multi-level approach, this paired
comparison allows me to see more clearly
the relations and interactions of actors,
culture, and institutions in place. And thus
permits me to respond the difficult question of why the same reforms or institutions bring to very diverse outcomes.
Moreover, using more comparison in real
setting its results could be potentially directly useful for the policy makers. It is
very difficult to look at the different reforms
in two identical countries, but it is much
easier to compare an impact of a reform
in regions within country or cities within regions.

index, or experience based surveys corruption (see appendix). In other words,
such as local government corruption sur- these dimensions constitute the framevey in Sweden, the Municipal Transpa- work within which corruption may or may
rency Index TI in and regional quality of not develop. These dimensions, which can
government survey done by QoG Institute vary from region to region and from city to
. By pairing the cities before comparing city, are deeply tangled and feed back into
them, this research aims at a most similar one another. That is why the interactions
research design, taking into account among these dimensions are not possible
cases with similar socio-economic and po- to address fully without qualitative in-depth
litical conditions. In doing so, I intend to analysis. Having established the dimenhold constant the cultural variable and be sions and their rationale I disaggregate all
able to observe more clearly the incidence available cases based on these criteria.
of actors and its interactions with previous The selection thus follow from a) selecting
power structures. Besides, a paired com- cities within one region, b) making sure
parison ensures equal representation of that a pair of cities is of the same size, c)
corrupt and non-corrupt cases in the sam- whether cities have the same economic
Mahoney James and Goertz Gary (2004),
ple. Therefore, I will compare cities as si- structure, d) the political competition strucThe Possibility Principle: Choosing Negative
milar as possible and clustered within the ture and e) civil society organizations.
Cases in Comparative Researcg, American Posame region. However, before selecting
I am interested in explaining the exi- litical Science Review, pp 654-669
my cases it is needed to identify these stence of variance of corruption within the
Hadj-Abdou Leila (2013) Governing the
comparative dimensions (socio-economic same political system. More specifically, I Urban Diversity. Inmigrant Integration Policies
and political conditions) according to want to explain the existence of non-cor- and Discourses in Dublin and Vienna, Unpubliwhich we stratify and choose the sample. rupt cities in corrupt countries. Following shed PhD. Thesis, European University InstiHere the descriptive statistics is particu- this logic I am interested in cities in coun- tute
larly useful for selection of the
Appendix: Selection of factors which matters for VLC
By dimensions I mean socioeconomic characteristics singled
out by the literature or previous research as determining the environment
exchanges take place but also directly impact on the level of corruption. In the most of the studies
on corruption, these dimensions
are city size, political structure,
economic structure, and social capital dimension. These dimensions
are important because, depending
on where a given city stands on
each of them, will have consequences for the creation of an environment that could foster


ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime
January 2014, Volume 11, Issue1

Dublin System:
the problematic piece of CEAS' puzzle
by Dario Giancani
Dario Giancani is a student in Internationalization Business Relations, he
has a degree in Politic and International
Relations, is an activist in the field of immigration and integration.
The European legal framework on
asylum is constantly evolving. After the
cooperative effort outside the treaties of
80s, the juridical turning point towards the
communitarization was assured in 1999
with Tampere European Council and with
the transfer of immigration and asylum
matters from the intergovernmental area
to the competence of the Community.
Since then there have been lots of mutual
efforts to create a common European system for refugees that, since 2005 has
developed in a system characterized by
two phases whose process has not finished yet.
The Dublin system represents a "milestone" in the puzzle of The Common
European Asylum System, but, undoubtedly, it is the most discussed and criticized item both from the point of view of the
negative consequences on the life of applicants and for the low efficiency of the
EEC’s Member States, according to
their common humanitarian tradition and
determined to guarantee an adequate
protection to political refugees, aligned
themselves with Geneva Convention of
28th July 1951 and New York Protocol
(1967) related to the Status of Refugees,
adopting Dublin Convention of 15 June
1990 about the State responsible for examining the asylum application in one of
the Member States of the European Communities. With the aim of sharing definitions,
regulations on asylum, the Member States, in a first phase, have built the foundation of a common asylum system, the
so-called four bricks: one of these regarded the identification of the Member States responsible for an asylum application.
In 2003 the Council of the European
Union approved the Regulation (EC)
n.343/2003, so-called Dublin II Regulation, in substitution of Dublin Convention

immigration and asylum. Through Dublin
II Regulation recasting, the Regulation
(EC) n.604/2013, aims at contrasting a
double phenomenon.

Dario Giancani
of 1990. The purposes were to the solve
the problem of “refugees in orbit”, or rather guarantee that all asylum seekers
had their applications examined by a
Member State EU (so as to prevent them
from being bounced from one State to
another, no-one accepting to analyze
their request), and, on the other hand, to
prevent the system abuse with the presentation of multiple asylum applications
by a single person. However this legislation presented, «a number of deficiencies
related mainly to the efficiency of the system established by the current legislative
framework and the level of protection
guaranteed to the applicants for international protection that are subject to the
Dublin procedure» (COM 2008/820,
03.12.2008, p. 1). According to Eurostat
data, reformulated in ECRE's Report
"Lives on hold", in 2009 and in 2010 only
the 25% of the requests of transfer to
another State were actually satisfied. Moreover, this Report shows not only the
lack of an adequate and stable communication of refugees data, but also some
cases of Member States that «frequently
exchanged equivalent numbers of asylum
seekers», all that produced procedural
mistakes and confusion in the management total cost.
On 12 June 2013, the European Parliament approved the new Common European Asylum System (CEAS), through
the introduction of five legal instruments,
thus concluding the second phase of the
winding road toward a common policy on

On the one hand the intention is to
prevent any Member State from declaring
itself competent to examine the applications for international protection, therefore
depriving the seeker’s right of access to
administrative procedure for the recognition of the status; on the other hand the
Regulation aims at preventing the asylum
seekers from moving within the EU, giving to the States and not to the people
the possibility to decide which State
should examine the application.
The central value of this legal instrument is the same as the previous legislation: each asylum application must be
examined by only one Member State and
the competence for the examination lies
in primis with the State which played the
greatest part in the applicant's entry into
or residence in the territories of the Member States (with some exceptions). However, while not damaging this principle,
Dublin III brings in a series of important
and valuable new features, lots of them
arising from case law, that partially diminishes the negative effects of the system.
[The main changes concern the definition
of family members, the introduction of suspensive effect of the appeals, the inclusion of terms for taking in charge
procedure, the applicant’s detention for
risk of escape, the exchange of health information to protect the applicant].
Unfortunately the partial changes of
these Regulations certainly cannot contribute to solve the problems underlying the
Dublin system, whose structure is based
on the assumption that the Member States constitute an area with a homogeneous level of protection. On the contrary,
the reception conditions for asylum seekers and granting rates of the applications
for "similar" protection, change dramatically from one State to another.
In addition, the people who are entitled to benefit from international protection, don't have the opportunity to work


ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime
January 2014, Volume 11, Issue 1

source: picture-alliance/dpa

regularly in another State EU: this
means that, with some exceptions, the
State that is identified by the Dublin system as competent to examine the application will also be the same where the
person concerned should stay once he
has obtained the protection. Therefore
this system considers neither individuals’
aspirations, family or cultural ties with
some States, real prospects to find work,
nor the opportunity to take definitively root
in the Member States EU.

EU, in 2012 the majority of applicants
came from Afghanistan, Russia, Syria,
Pakistan and Serbia. There is a great difference in the number of receptions in
each of the European States: in the five
EU States that have the greatest absolute
number of asylum seekers, only in Belgium the Afghans are the first group, the
third group in Germany and Sweden,
while in France and the United Kingdom
they do not even appear among the first
three groups of asylum seekers.

In spite of the changes of new package CEAS 2013, according to Dublin III,
asylum seekers will still continue to be
transferred from one Member State to
another, against their will and legitimate
interests. They will risk of being subjected
to refoulement when they are transferred
to a State that offers inadequate reception
conditions or has serious deficiencies in
the national social protection system. The
right to an effective appeal (art. 32.2 Genève Convention 1951), especially
against a negative decision of asylum application in the context of "special procedures", will not be guaranteed.

In addition, Dublin III considers the impossibility for an applicant to be transferred to a Member State where it still exists
a risk of inhuman or degrading treatment
(art. 3.2): this result flows from the numerous cases of asylum seekers deprived of
fundamental rights and by the dynamics
of effective transfer (e.g. Greece, Czech
This arrangement is undoubtedly an
opening to better seekers’ treatment but
it make people think about the reasons
why the European Union can legally
admit Member States that potentially may
apply inhuman and degrading treatment
to humans.

Although the objectives set by the Dublin system are common to the European
States, the level of reception and protection granted varies considerably from
State to State. An effect of this is the phenomenon of asylum shopping when the
applicants assess the State that can offer
the best reception conditions to submit
their application (e.g. July 2013 protest
demonstration in Lampedusa against the
Dublin Regulation of providing their fingerprints in Italy).
The asylum seeker chooses the State
for submitting his application, according
to perceived better reception conditions
and the easiest granting of international
protection status. Actually, there is a wide
diversity in asylum applications management in all Member States EU: this may
be due to the different nationalities of the
seekers and it is reflected in the asylum
and migration policy that are applied in
any EU States. From the analysis of Eurostat data on asylum applications in the

Dublin III will be applied to applications submitted from 1 January 2014.
This legal instrument, together with the
new adopted ones, represents a clear attempt to create a common European policy on asylum, but the path towards the
achievement of a fair and effective CEAS
is still very long. Today Europe is probably
the Europe fortress that everybody
knows: the legislative harmonization of
European asylum law, continues to fall
under the general States concern for the
control of illegal migration flows, which involves the creation of physical and legal
barriers to the EU's external borders. European law has serious weaknesses regarding their incomplete transposition into
national law and the continuing discretionof nationals institutions.
The real challenge for the future is to
monitor the transposition of the new package CEAS inside the national legislations, to ensure that the concrete

implementation of the rules is compatible
with the European Court of Human Rights
(ECHR) and with the principles established by European Court of Justice (ECJ),
to promote higher standards in all 28 States EU.
BENHABIB S. (2004) The Rights of Others.
Aliens, Residents and Citizens, Cambridge, Press
DRAETTA U., PARISI N. (2010) Elementi di
diritto dell'Unione europea, Milano, Giuffrè Editore.
ECRE (2012) The Dublin II Regulation. Lives
EUROSTAT (2013) Asylum in the EU27, The
number of asylum applicants registered in the
EU27 rose to more than 330 000 in 2012
FAVILLI C. (2009) Diritto, Immigrazione e Cittadinanza n. 3/2009 “I principali atti adottati dall'Unione europea in dieci anni di politica di
immigrazione e di asilo”.
(1972) The Status of Refugees in International
Law - Vol. II Asylum, Entry and Sojourn, Leyden.
MAINARDI E. (2013) Federalismi.it n. 3/2013
“Unione Europea verso un sistema europeo di
asilo 'effettivamente' comune”.
OMAR OSMAN S. (2012) Peace Human
Rights, “Le due fasi del Sistema Comune Europeo
PEDRAZZI M. (2006) Il diritto d'asilo nel diritto
internazionale agli albori del terzo millennio ZAGATO L. (a cura di), Verso una disciplina comune
europea del diritto d'asilo, Venezia, Cedam.
STEINBOCK D.J. (1999) The Refugee definition as law: issue of interpretation, in NICHOLSON F. e TWOMEY P., Refugee Rights and
Realities: Evolving International Concepts and
Regimes, Cambridge, Cambridge University
UNHCR (2005) (A) “Provisional Comments
on the Proposal for a Council Directive on Minimum Standards on Procedures in Member States
for Granting and Withdrawing Refugee Status”
h t t p : / / w w w. u n h c r. o r g / c g i bin/texis/vtx/search?page=search&docid=43661e
UNHCR (2000) State of the World's Refugees, The: Fifty Years of Humanitarian Action, Oxford University Press, USA.
UNHCR (1992) “Handbook on Procedures
and Criteria for determining Refugees Status
under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol


on Organised
on Organised
11, Issue
1 3
10, Issue

Citizens Pact, European Alternative
and the Fight agaist Organised Crime in Europe
Many European citizens think that European politics is dominated by powerful interest groups and
lobbies, and think that citizens cannot change the situation, either through voting or otherwise. Many such
citizens either do not engage or turn to nationalist political parties and their promises of restoring an imagined sovereignty. Anna Sergi and Helena Carapico
from the Standing Group on Organised Crime joined
the international platform of the Citizens Pact which
creates a powerful alternative message that amplifies
the voice of those furthest from the centre of power,
urges Europeans to vote thinking not only of themselves but also of others in the European community and
on its territory, and shows the absurdity of nationalist
European Alternatives has worked for the past
three years facilitating dialogue and contact between
diverse groups of people living in Europe. Through
the use of citizens’ panels, we have encountered
large groups of people, including migrants, Roma
people, LGBT people, unemployed or precarious
young people and many EU citizens living in member-states they are not citizens of. We have listened
to their concerns, tried to frame them in a pan-European discourse, showing that what happens in Brussels and Strasbourg matters and that citizens of all
kinds should be active in exercising their advocacy
towards these institutions and demand accountability
from their representatives. A particular topic of common interest has been legality and proposals put forward by members of the Standing Group on Orgaised

Crime have been fully
incorporated in the
wording of the Citizens Manifesto which
is available in an increasing number of
European languages.
Within the domain of
crime, European Alternatives organised
a seminar in London
last year and will host
another conference in
Paris in June (date
and venue to be determined), which welcomes participants
from the Standing
Group: please contact Rosen Dimov (r.dimov@euroalter.com), if you
wish to be involved. Both events are part of a broader
framework, with the Prevention of and Fight against
Organised Crime Programme of the European Commission, which will eventually put forward concrete,
viable legislative proposals to the EU institutions.
European Alternatives also wish to leverage on
this experience to produce tangible impact ahead of
the key appointment of the European Elections. A tour
across Europe (see the map) has three main components: reaching out to Europeans where they are, amplifying
across a European public
and targeting the candidates in the elections on a
wide range of topics, to
name a few among them:
organised crime.
1. Those who choose
to spend a Saturday afternoon at a panel on civil
rights, even when they
are minorities or “hard to
reach” people, still represent a small percentage
of people already engaged at some level with public policy and curious, if
not interested, about the
This is why the project

reaches out to Europeans residents where they are,
at the site of their struggles, campaigns or problems
through a coordinated series of journeys in camper
vans across Europe, meeting and interviewing people
who feel like they are voiceless in the European debate (ranging from those without formal rights such
as paperless migrants, to discriminated minorities
such as the Roma, to people involved in political
struggles around environmental, economic or social
2. We will take these video interviews and make
a dynamic multi-language website (voteforthevoiceless.eu) in which Europeans trying to decide how to
vote or understand the elections can hear and learn
from them. The website and social media strategy will
also include satirical cartoons parodying nationalist
3. ‘Election parties’ in several European countries will present the videos (and some of the people
interviewed) to candidates for the election to get their
reactions, engaging a multi-level participating with a
particular focus on the younger generation.
The caravan tour across Europe builds on the
experience of European Alternatives in running participative citizens’ panels across Europe for the last
three years and developing a “Citizens Manifesto” for
the elections, which we will add to as part of the project. Should you wish to join the tour or propose the
activists in the caravans an issue or a local citizens’s
initiative, please contact Elena Dalibot: e.dalibot@euroalter.com.

The ECPR Standing Group on Organised Crime has launched a new editorial project:

The European Review of Organised Crime
The Editorial Team of The European Review of Organised Crime is getting ready to launch the first issue!
We are now starting to collect contributions for forthcoming issues. Should you be interested in submitting an article, please do not hesitate to contact us .
For further information, please contact
or visit our webpage

You are also invited to
propose things that could
improve the quality of the

For the newsletter we are looking for short
original articles (1000-1500 words) on different
organised crime-related themes. These contributions can stem from yur on- going research
or from summaries of published material, which
you might wish to circulate among the organised crime research community.
You may also contribute to the content of the
newsletter by sending us any announcement of
conferences/ workshops/ literature references
you feel could be of interest to this field.

Please send your suggestions and articles to:
Anna Sergi
Falko Ernst

The Next Issue of the ECPR
Standing Group on Organised
Crime Newsletter will be
at the end of May 2014.
The deadline for articles and
is 20th of May 2014.


Glasgow 2014
ECPR General Conference
3-6 September 2014

The Standing Group on Organised Crime

Proposed Panels
Critical Reflections on the Concepts of Terrorism, Organised Crime and Corruption
Policy-Making Responses to Terrorism, Organised Crime and Corruption
The Nexus between Terrorism and Organised Crime
Violent Extremism and Radicalization
Law Enforcement Responses to Terrorism, Organised Crime and Corruption
Emerging Forms and Manifestations of Organised Crime
Contemporary Border Security Challenges
Non-State Responses to Terrorism, Organised Crime and Corruption
Submit your papers through ‘myecpr’ by 15 February 2014

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