Trevor Colman, one of the UKIP MEPs for the South West of England and Gibraltar, has been confirmed as a member of the European Parliament’s special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering in the EU after MEPs adopted the list of members in Brussels last week.
Mr Colman, who before becoming an MEP served as a policeman for more than 30 years and even advised on the scripts for the
TV crime series 'Wycliffe
' that was set and filmed in Cornwall, is the sole member of the Committee representing the Non Attached members of the Parliament.
During the special committee’s 12-month mandate, Mr Colman and 44 other colleagues from across all the political groupings will evaluate the extent of organised crime's impact on the EU economy and society and recommend legislative and other measures to enable the EU to respond to these threats at international, European and national levels.
The committee will have the power to make on site visits and hold hearings with EU and national institutions from all over the world. MEPs may also invite testimonies from representatives of business and civil society and victims’ organisations, and officials, including judges, involved in the daily fight against organised crime, corruption and money laundering.
Italian Liberal MEP Sonia Alfano, the European Parliament's rapporteur on this issue, said the establishment of the anti-mafia committee at the European Parliament "represents a real turning point in the history of European Union policies
", she said "Europe is sending a clear message to criminal organisations and gangs: the institutions are not going to back down in the face of organised crime
In October 2011, the Parliament adopted a resolution by Ms Alfano on Organised Crime in the EU
that recognised the large scale of operations in Europe and called on Member States to improve cooperation and coordination and to approximate their legislation in order do more to combat it.
Organised crime, the resolution says, "has a substantial social cost, in that it violates human rights, undermines democratic principles, diverts and wastes financial, human and other resources, distorting the free internal market, contaminating businesses and legitimate economic activities, encouraging corruption and polluting and destroying the environment.
"Although no comprehensive study exists,
" the resolution notes, "mafia-style criminal organisations operating in Europe have an impressively large turnover, particularly in the case of Italian organised crime groups, which […] are conservatively estimated to have revenues of at least EUR 135 billion, a figure which is higher than the combined GDP of 6 EU Member States
The Committee will begin its work before the end of April 2012 and its mandate may be extended once.
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