Organised crime: Efus attends a seminar on education on legality organised in Paris by the Giovanni and Francesca Falcone Foundation

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Paris, 24 February 2013 – Efus attended a seminar organised in Paris on 22, 23 and 24 February by the Giovanni and Francesca Falcone Foundation with the partners of the European project “Waves of legality, waves of citizenship”, which is part of the EU Europe for Citizens programme.

Other organisations and associations were in attendance, from Italy, the Czech Republic, France, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Belgium, and Germany. The central theme of this meeting was how to apply throughout Europe the “Falcone method” -named after the famed anti-mafia judge murdered in Sicily in 1992-, which advocates for close cooperation between institutions and associations to promote a culture of legality in order to fight crime and organised crime.

The seminar was opened by the President of the Foundation, Maria Falcone, and Efus’ Executive Director, Elizabeth Johnston, who called for more international cooperation and support from European institutions. They also stressed the importance of linking international action with the work being conducted on the ground with young people.

Francesco Lo Voi, Italian representative of the European agency EuroJust, called for more cultural and social work to fight organised crime, in addition to judicial action. He emphasised that the work carried by anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino (murdered in Palermo a few weeks after Falcone) was groundbreaking because it combined judicial investigation and repression with real education effort on the ground towards youngsters and society at large.

Partners of the “Waves of legality, waves of citizenship” project, the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, and the Centre for Juvenile Justice of the Region of Sicily presented the work they carry with young people, in particular those at risk of social exclusion. 

A questionnaire on how young people perceive organised crime was prepared during this seminar. It will be distributed throughout Europe and will contribute to the research on the prevention of organised crime as well as to future projects.

“Giovanni was a forerunner in that he proposed concrete tools for international cooperation. He understood very well the danger of international organised crime,” declared Maria Falcone, the sister of the late judge. “Society needs to be less consenting, indifferent and complicit. And this needs to be done at an international level. This is also why it is important to rely on civil society.”

Efus is looking for information on concrete initiatives taken in Europe by citizens or civil society organisations to prevent or fight organised crime. Do not hesitate to contact us if this theme is of interest to you or if you have a local practice to share: