Organised Crime: New Challenges and Response
At the political level, organised crime has long been regarded as a threat to national security. This also applies to the security threats on the European Union level. However, real urgency of this threat has not been defined. Why is this issue “securitised”? Or, in general, should it be included in the list of the most prominent threats? Maybe this phenomenon should be considered as a typical problem that would be resolved by usual means? The article aims to find answers to these questions. Organised crime is analysed by comparing the perspectives of Lithuania and the European Union. It is sought to evaluate its impact on economic and social values. In this work, the author 1) examined the European Union and national strategic documents identifying the threats posed by organised crime, 2) assessed organised crime groups, their spheres of activity, impact on social security, the factors determining the peculiarities of organised crime development, and 3) revealed the link between organised crime and other threats. The objectives of this article are: 1) to analyse threats posed by organised crime from the Lithuanian and European Union perspectives; 2) to examine structures of organised criminal groups and areas of illicit activities influencing the evolution of criminality; 3) to assess new challenges and propose specific measures of response towards organised crime as a threat to national security. The author applies systematic evaluation, comparative methods, and analysis of documents and judicial practice. Throughout the article, the author evaluates, assesses and compares numerous relevant legal, policy and strategic papers and proposes improvements. Research documents and scientific articles as well as judicial practices are also analysed. Lithuanian organised crime is assessed comparing it with the European Union situation. The information derived from interviews with civil servants and operational officers is presented as well.
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