European Network on the Administrative Approach tackling serious and organised crime

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An Administrative Approach to serious and organised crime involves preventing the facilitation of illegal activities by denying criminals the use of the legal administrative infrastructure.

It is recognised that organised crime does not respect regional, national or international boundaries and because of its nature and scale it is more than any one agency or even group of nations can tackle alone. Criminal justice interventions alone will never be enough.
We believe multidisciplinary approaches, based on partnership, collaboration and use of administrative measures, offers a solution with the potential to have a much greater impact on both the 'high end' and the 'long tail' of organised crime, across the EU.
In response a Network has been formed within the EU in the Council Conclusion of 5 November 2010. Since then ENAA has evolved into a Network of National Contact Points who act as a gateway to law enforcement agencies, government departments, administrative bodies and academia in their respective countries. In particular, those teams, units and departments which are regularly using administrative powers or non-traditional ways of working on a practical level, as part of a multidisciplinary approach to prevent and disrupt organised crime.
This Network

  • promotes the concept of administrative measures
  • assesses possibilities to strengthen the exchange of information between administrative bodies and traditional law enforcement organisations of EU Member States, making use of existing instruments for international exchange of information and limitations stemming from national legislation
  • encourages sharing of best practices
  • proposes new initiatives in developing administrative measures.

Under the Dutch Presidency (2016), for the first time, a definition on the administrative approach was agreed on by the Member States in the Council Conclusions of 6 June 2016.

The administrative approach is used by combining the following elements:

  1. Prevent persons involved in criminal activities form using the legal administrative infrastructure for criminal purposes, including, where relevant, procedures for obtaining permits, tenders and subsidies;
  2. Apply all relevant types of administrative regulations to prevent and fight illegal activities, when possible under national law, including the preventive screening and monitoring of applicants (natural persons and legal entities) for permits, tenders and subsidies, as well as closing or expropriating premises when public nuisance occurs in or around those premises as a result of undermining criminal activities;
  3. Coordinate interventions, using administrative tools to supplement actions under criminal law, to prevent, counter, disrupt and suppress serious and organised crime.