The EU SOCTA 2021 is the outcome of a detailed analysis of the threat of serious and organised crime facing the EU, providing information for practitioners, decision-makers and the wider public. As a threat assessment, the SOCTA is a forward-looking document that assesses shifts in the serious and organised crime landscape. The SOCTA 2021 sets out current and anticipated developments across the spectrum of serious and organised crime, identifies the key criminal groups and individuals involved in criminal activities across the EU and describes the factors in the wider environment that shape serious and organised crime in the EU.
The SOCTA 2021 provides an overview of the current state of knowledge on criminal networks and their operations based on data provided to Europol by Member States and partners and data collected specifically for the SOCTA 2021. In trying to overcome the established, and limiting, conceptualisation of organised crime groups, this assessment focuses on the roles of criminals within criminal processes and outlines how a better understanding of those roles allows for a more targeted operational approach in the fight against serious and organised crime.
- Close to 40% of the criminal networks active in the EU are involved in the trade in illegal drugs.
- Around 60 % of the criminal networks active in the EU use violence as part of their criminal businesses.
- The use of corruption and the abuse of legal business structures are key features of serious and organised crime in Europe. Two thirds of criminals use corruption on a regular basis. More than 80 % of the criminal networks use legal business structures
Cite this publication: Europol (2021), European Union serious and organised crime threat assessment, A corrupting influence: the infiltration and undermining of Europe's economy and society by organised crime, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.