In tackling financial and organised crime, the Council of Europe's activities reflect a multidisciplinary approach. This strategy is built upon three pillars: establishing European rules and standards, assessing compliance of European legislation with these standards and developing technical co-operation programmes with particular countries or groups of countries.
The Council is active in the fight against corruption, organised crime, cybercrime, money laundering and terrorist financing and other forms of financial and serious crime. Two sets of monitoring machinery enable it to assess progress in these areas: the Group of States against Corruption (Greco) and the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures (Moneyval).
The main aim of technical co-operation is to increase European countries' capacity to deal with these problems. This includes, in particular, improving legislation, establishing institutions to combat organised crime, offering advice and strengthening co-operation between states. The accumulated expertise of 47 countries, plus that of the private sector is important.
Most of the financing of these activities comes from the Council of Europe, although the European Commission and other bilateral donors also contribute.
Set up in 1958, the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) has the responsibility for overseeing and coordinating the Council of Europe’s activities in the field of crime prevention and crime control.It identifies priorities for intergovernmental legal co-operation, makes proposals to the Committee of Ministers on activities in the fields of criminal law and procedure, criminology and penology, and implements these activities.
The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) monitors member states' compliance with the Council of Europe anti-corruption standards with the objective to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption.
The Council of Europe is dedicated to upholding human rights, the rule of law and pluralist democracy, and is determined to combat terrorism, which rejects these three fundamental values. Its work in this field begain in the 1970s, but efforts have been stepped up since 2001, following the unprecedented terrorist attacks in the United States.
The MONEYVAL committee evaluates the effectiveness of domestic measures to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism in Council of Europe member states which are not members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Council of Europe member states which are members of MONEYVAL but subsequently become members of the FATF can elect to retain full membership of MONEYVAL. Applicant states for membership and other non-member states which are not members of the FATF may apply to join the terms of reference under certain conditions.
The Convention on Cybercrime of the Council of Europe – the only binding international instrument in the field – provides guidelines for any country developing comprehensive national legislation against Cybercrime and as a framework for international co-operation between States Parties to this treaty.
The Council of Europe Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health (MEDICRIME) was opened for signature on 28 October 2011. The “Medicrime convention”, as it is known, constitutes the first binding international legal instrument criminalising offences committed in the medical field.