The director of Italy’s “National Agency for the management
and use of the assets seized and confiscated to the organized crime”, Prefetto Bruno Corda, held a speech on June 16, during the 13th meeting of the United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group on Corruption Prevention at the International Center of Vienna.
As the Italian Interior Ministry reports, during his speech Mr. Corda presented the Italian model for the management and social re-allocation of assets confiscated to the organized crime.
Since 1982, Italy has established an effective legal regime in the fight against organized crime, which has become a model for other countries fighting mafia-style criminal organizations. Mr Corda highlighted the importance of returning confiscated assets to the local communities where criminal organizations operate.
Italy has implemented a sistem that allows for the allocation of said assets for use by institutions and local communities. An example is the recent initiative promoted by Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese to use confiscated assets to host Ukrainian refugees.
The social re-allocation of assets seized and confiscated to the organized crime is an area where Italy can actually offer solutions to the world, thanks to the experience and innovative solutions developed while fighting the mafia.
As journalist Daniela De Lorenzo writes on Italian online newspaper Linkiesta, “only recently Europe has become aware of the need to deal with criminal organizations with adequate legislative, economic, and also cultural tools. The anti-mafia culture outside of Italy has never developed, even though several international and Italian criminal organizations are active on the territory of the European Union.”
However, according to a survey carried out by Italian anti-mafia NGO Libera, things are changing. Most of EU Member States use a system based on public management of confiscated assets. However, Libera listed seven EU Members States to be praised for good practices in terms of social re-allocations of confiscated assets. These countries are Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, Romania, France, the Netherlands, and Italy.
According to Libera, these good practices show that “the EU is on the right path, but there is still much to do.”
For this reason, together with the “CHANCE – Civil Hub Against organized crime in Europe” network, Libera is asking the EU for some changes. These include promoting wider exchange of knowledge and good practices on the management of seized/confiscated assets; adopting non-conviction based confiscation measures; creating a new fund dedicated to the re-allocation of confiscated assets through cohesion policies in the 2021-2027 programming period; developing a European strategy for the public and social destination of confiscated assets.