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Organised crime

Organised crime has been one of the key areas of research for over a decade for CSD. Over this period numerous studies on criminal markets and activities have been conducted. CSD has partnered with national (Ministry of Interior and the Main Directorate Combating Organised Crime) or international law-enforcement agencies (Serious Organised Crime Agency (UK), Bundeskriminalamt, and Europol), or international organizations (UNODC) in implementing projects or conducting research. Since 2007 CSD through its consulting arm Project One EOOD has carried out research on behalf of the European Commission’s Directorate General Justice Freedom and Security (DG JLS) throughout all 27 EU Member States, partnering with the leading criminologists throughout Europe. Research articles of CSD’s researchers have appeared in international peer-reviewed journals and other peer-reviewed publications. CSD researchers are also active in the public policy dialogue on organized crime through regular appearance on all leading TV and radio networks, or as contributors to daily and weekly newspapers.



all events

Countering Extortion Racketeering in Bulgaria: Examining the Evidence and Devising Appropriate Measures
During the 1990s, Bulgaria experienced a significant upsurge in extortion racketeering, a crime which came to define the decade. Even though rates have decreased in recent years, the problem appears to persist. On 27 October 2016, the Center for the Study of Democracy organized a round table discussion on Countering Extortion Racketeering: Problem areas and Possible Measures. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Interior, General Directorate National Police, General Directorate Combatting Organised Crime and the Sofia Appellate Court. more »
Countering extortion racketeering: the European experience
Classic extortion racketeering was widespread in Bulgaria in the 90s of last century, but in the last fifteen years gradually declined and is not the big organized crime threat that it used to be. However, new forms of extortion emerged and gained momentum - different from those of the recent past, but in no case less dangerous or harmful. more »


all publications

CSD Policy Brief No. 63: Extortion racketeering: the vulnerability assessment approach
Extortion racketeering has long been pointed out as the defining activity of organised crime. It has also been identified as one of the most effective tools used by organised crime in the accumulation of financial resources and the penetration of the legal economy. Although in recent years this crime has not been among the top listed organised crime threats in the strategic EU policy documents, it still remains ever present in European countries. The seriousness of the phenomenon has been recognised at the EU level and the crime has been listed in a number of EU legal acts in the field of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. more »
Countering extortion racketeering: The Italian Experience
Extortion racketeering is a crime which spans all sections of society, poses threats to the well-being of local communities and impairs the growth and development of business. No country is immune to it, although it varies across time, space and economic context. Extortion can be perpetrated by single offenders, or it can be part of more complex criminal schemes. In this sense, the case of Italy is typical because Italian mafias systematically resort to extortion racketeering. more »

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