Police Cooperation

Enhancing cooperation to combat cross-border serious crime

Criminal activities are often transnational and, in many cases, the assets of criminal groups are invested outside their country of main operation. Moreover, organised crime groups engage in an increasingly wide range of profitable illegal activities and reinvest substantial profits in legal activities. This affects, among others, the operation of the Internal Market by distorting competition with legitimate businesses and undermines trust in the economy, affecting, thus, investment and growth.

It is, therefore, of imperative importance that member states further intensify in a systematic way their efforts towards freezing and confiscating proceeds of crime, and should also ensure that they not return into the hands of criminals.

 In this respect, the Cyprus Presidency has set as one of its main priorities the achievement of substantial progress on the relevant proposal of the European Commission (proposal for a Directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union). The reinforcement of the existing legislative framework, the strengthening of the cooperation between competent member state authorities, simplification of existing rules and improving the existing legislation, constitute the main elements of the proposal, which will contribute to the elimination of financial motives benefitting criminals.

The Cyprus Presidency will also give emphasis on fighting cybercrime and in particular, the various forms of child pornography as well as sexual abuse and exploitation of children on the internet. 

Illicit trafficking of antiquities and works of art is yet another type of cross-border crime, on which the Cyprus Presidency will focus.  Actually, the Presidency will promote the issue of creating a network of experts on cultural heritage, which will primarily aim at supporting the authorities in this field.  

Protection of vulnerable groups in society

Domestic violence issues will also receive a great deal of emphasis, especially as regards the role of law enforcement authorities in overcoming ‘attrition’ – the phenomenon, that is, where cases fail to make it through the criminal justice system. 

Yet another major aspect of the issue of violence, is violence against women.  So, as far as gender equality is concerned, the Cyprus Presidency has set combating violence against women as its main priority, focusing particularly on the support services directed to women, victims of crime.