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Using mafia assets for the social economy 12 November 2013

Posted by cooperatoby in cooperative, Social enterprise.
Tags: , ,

Cultura contro CamorraThe social economy is playing an important role in providing alternatives to organised crime in southern Italy, and last Friday two of my old colleagues from the European Commission’s now abolished Social Economy Unit have set up a European association to support this. Its press release reads:

On November 8, at a conference organised in the premises of European Economic and Social Committee on the “Impact of organized crimes on the EU economy”, the association “Cultura contro camorra” has been officially created. Franco Ianniello, former EU official, was elected president of this new network of European civil society against organized crime. Michel Theys and Armand Rauch were elected respectively vice-president and secretary.

“Cultura contro camorra ” has decided to work actively with the European Economic and Social Committee for the preparation of an own-initiative opinion to tackle the roots of the mafia problem. This will be achieved also in coordination with the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions.
The association will strongly support the idea that properties confiscated from criminal organizations are allocated optimally to the social economy projects on the ground.
In view of the forthcoming European elections, it calls on European political parties to make a commitment to do so. The new European Parliament will be also invited to make permanent the special commission on organized crime, corruption and laundering money. On the other hand, the Structural Funds of the European Union should help financially structures, anywhere in Europe, fighting against organized crime.

An EESC study discussed at rhe event estimates the minimum identified direct costs of organised crime in the EU to be €168 billion a year, made up as follows:

    • Human trafficking – €30 billion
    • Fraud against EU (cigarette smuggling) – €11.3 billion
    • Fraud against EU (VAT/MTIC fraud) – €20 billion
    • Fraud against EU (agricultural and structural funds) – €3 billion
    • Fraud against EU individuals – €97 billion
    • Unrecovered motor vehicle theft – €4.25 billion
    • Payment card fraud – €1.16 billion
    • Insurance fraud – €1 billion (in UK alone).

In addition there are probably at least 500 organised crime-related homicides, very unevenly distributed across the EU. Plus there are no credible data on costs from drug-running, extortion, intellectual property crimes, fraud against private businesses and national VAT fraud.

Libera Terra – organic food from confiscated Mafia farms

Libera, a network of 1,200 associations, groups and schools fighting organised crime, was set up in 1995. The following year, law 109/96 was passed under which confiscated properties could be recycled for social benefit. Since then, 6,500 properties in Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Lazio have been turned over to nine social co-operatives producing organic food and wine, marketed under the ‘Libera Terra’ brand and sold in Italy’s Coop stores and elsewhere. The Libera Terra Mediterraneo consortium has been set up to gear up their reach and has a web shop.

Cultura contro Camorra also has a Facebook page. Its e-mail address is segreteria[at]culturacontrocamorra[dot]eu



1. vagenutcoop - 13 November 2013

Reblogged this on Gammal Version.

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