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Earth Community Organization (ECO)
the Global Community
Newsletter Volume 3       Issue 2,    February  2005
The Global Constitution The Global Constitution
Community institutions & bodies
Global Community Parliament with its governing institutions and bodies

The Global Community Parliament (GCP) has developed a strategy for implementing the area of freedom, security and justice without borders. This strategy along with the Criteria for Global Citizenship and the Charter of the Global Community will be integrated into the Global Constitution. More development will be published in the coming months. The Global Community Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee will have a first draft of the Global Constitution by August 2005 and a final document by August 2006. Participate now!
   Freedom, security and justice without borders   
   Racism, xenophobia and discrimination    
   Asylum, immigration, border control   
  • Civil law, cooperation,
  • Global Community Justice Network,
  • Global Community arrest warrant.
   Global fight against crime    

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Issues for discussion in Global Dialogue 2006 include the social dimension of globalisation, debt cancellation, reform of international institutions, global development and Global Community Parliament (GCP) with its governing institutions and bodies. The Global Constitution discussed here becomes an integral part of the Global Community governing institutions and bodies. The Global Community Parliament (GCP) has developed a strategy for implementing the area of freedom, security and justice without borders. This strategy along with the Criteria for Global Citizenship and the Charter of the Global Community will be integrated into the Global Constitution. More development will be published in the coming months.

The joint efforts of progressive people all over the world, whether from politics, trades unions, businesses or NGOs, are needed more than ever to ensure that global policies and institutions become more effective in managing globalisation for the benefit of everyone. The opinion of every Global Community citizen is important.

Global Governance

The Global Community has no intention of changing the status and privileges of state governments. In fact, state governments become primary members of the Global Community. Global governance can only be effective within the framework of a world government or world federalism.
Effective Earth governance requires a greater understanding of what it means to live in a more crowded, interdependent humanity with finite resources and more pollution threatening the global life-support systems. The Global Community has no other choice but to work together at all levels. The collective power is needed to create a better world.
We will be there to listen to everyone, but also to present our own proposals. We will not agree on everything but we think we can work together on a positive agenda for another kind of globalisation.

The Global Community shares the deep concerns of many organisations and individuals active in the Global Social Dialogue.

They believe that globalisation is currently on the wrong track, unable to eliminate poverty and to put the world on a sustainable and peacful development path.

We will make globalisation work for everyone. We recognise that globalisation has had together with positive effects also some negative ones. To overcome the negative effects, the Global Community must promote a global sustainability through a more generous and targeted aid policy, and must give through the multilateral trading system the world's poorest nations access to our markets to escape the poverty trap.

The world must be built not only as a Global Community of States based on diplomacy, but also by a democratic community of peoples.

We are committed to unlocking the potential of the Global Community, by building on the fundamental principles of freedom, democracy, solidarity, the rule of law, respect for human rights, free enterprise and equal opportunities.

This is also accomplished by promoting peace throughout the Global Community in the federal tradition that respects our diverse cultural, local and linguistic identities, and is open to all Member States which comply with the criteria for membership. A Global Community that can finally vote with a qualified majority system in order to fully exercise the world sovereignty in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity. The ratification and entry into force of the Global Constitution is in this respect essential.

The Global Community is a global player bridging the gap between its economic and political dimension, and speaking with one voice in world affairs. This is why we fully support a Common Foreign and Security Policy which aims to promote a new era of peace, democracy and security.

The full potential of the Global Community is attained by opening up, democratising, making more accountable and strengthening its institutions, also by identifying forms of participation and global dialogue able to bring into the global scene those who at the moment feel excluded. To this end, media pluralism is crucial. Furthermore, to foster common global experiences and the sense of belonging to a single planet-wide community, language training and exchange among students, trainees and volunteers should be stimulated.

We guarantee the fundamental rights of all Global Community citizens and removing all forms of discrimination. In our common fight against international crime and terrorism, we will always remain vigilant against any erosion of personal freedom. A Global Community of security and justice for all is also a Global Community that extends these rights to those who justly seek asylum or a new life. To that effect, the Global Community needs to harmonise asylum policy. The Global Community has to develop a common strategy to manage legal immigration and coordinate action against illegal immigration, and to firmly combat any form of racism and xenophobia. The protection of minorities is the essence of democracy. The issues of freedom, security and justice without borders should be deepened. Intercultural dialogue should be promoted and deepened further.

We believe that the aim of society must be the self-fulfilment of each individual, and that can be accomplished by promoting education at all levels; supporting scientists and researchers; allowing technology transfer; making investments in information, eco-friendly technologies and R&D networks.

The full potential of the Global Community is attained by strengthening economic governance after the introduction of a common currency. A common economic policy must aim to create prosperity, competitiveness and jobs, and keep the Global Community social model viable, by modernising the Global Community economy and fostering an innovative society. In this framework, we must reform world's economy to secure a stable and competitive climate for businesses to invest in innovation and create jobs, to facilitate labour mobility, and to achieve a real single and liberalised market. An effective single market implies also the reduction of the bureaucratic impact of its implementation.

We will ensure that:

  • our global citizens will obtain value for tax money,
  • fraud and corruption will be stopped wherever it is found,
  • tackling unnecessary bureaucracy,
  • by reforming the system of own resources to make it more transparent, progressive and fair.

The Global Community will lead the world in environmental protection. This means seeking common solutions to our common environmental, public health problems, consumers protection and food safety. We must commit ourselves to cleaner, safer forms of energy and embrace renewable resource use. The Global Community should work for the achievement of the targets set out in the Kyoto Protocol for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and for the launch of a follow-up to Kyoto. Environmental and security policies should lay at the core of the Global Community’s cooperation within Member States.

The full potential of the Global Community is attained by ensuring a full recognition and enhancement of the role of Global Community’s regions, particularly those with legislative powers, and by building a structural policy which develops the potential of most needy regions. Resources should be used to mobilise additional investments, and cohesion funds should be focused on the poorest regions. The Global Community cannot afford that any of its region lags behind. For a balanced development at home and abroad, it is necessary to create a Common Agricultural Policy.

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Freedom, security and justice without borders

Freedom, security and justice without borders is a concept that is meant to create a free movement of persons. It is a necessary component of a free market society. The abolition of border controls will nonetheless be given specific treatment in the context of a global cooperation. The purpose of such cooperation is to create an area without internal borders, the corollary being stronger external borders for this area common to the signatory Member States.

The practically of such a concept requires many changes to be made:

* world judicial cooperation in criminal matters,
* police cooperation in criminal matters,
* asylum and immigration.

The Global Community Parliament (GCP) proposes an action plan with a twofold objective:

  • defining what the Global Community means by the concept of freedom, security and justice without borders. The action plan describes the three constituent elements:

    • an area of freedom that comprises, on the one hand, the introduction of an asylum and immigration policy and, on the other, a wide concept of freedom. For asylum and immigration, particular priority to combating illegal immigration on the one hand, while on the other ensuring the integration and rights of those third country nationals legally present in the Global Community as well as the necessary protection for those in need of it. We should not limit the area of freedom, security and justice solely to free movement of persons. Citizens must be given the right to live in security in a lawful environment;
    • an area of security that aims to give Member States the institutional framework in which they can combat threats against citizens, particularly crime and terrorism. Security is to be achieved through stronger police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters;
    • an area of justice, with the aim of giving citizens a common sense of justice throughout the Global Community. The area of justice requires reinforced cooperation in both civil and criminal matters, particularly improved access to justice and better protection of crime victims.

  • establishing a series of measures to make the concept of freedom, security and justice without borders a reality.

The Global Community Parliament supports creation of the concept through three different functions:

  • its role as legislator. Parliament is co-legislator in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters (excluding family law);
  • its role of providing impetus by suggesting new measures;
  • its monitoring role. Parliament, as the guarantor of citizens freedoms, keeps watch over a sound balance between security imperatives and the protection of civil liberties. Parliament expresses its positions via:
    • the legislative procedure (codecision or consultation depending on the legal basis of the act),
    • annual resolutions on progress towards implementing the concept.

Two main issues have contributed to the development of the concept:
  • combating terrorism,
  • the fight against illegal immigration and the integrated management of all borders.

To give impetus to actions by the Global Community to deal with the threat of terrorism, Parliament sets out a number of measures to step up the fight against terrorism, the most significant of which is the immediate appointment of an official charged with co-ordinating the Global Community's actions to combat terrorism.

The fight against illegal immigration includes:

  • an action plan against illegal immigration,
  • an action plan for the repatriation of third-country nationals residing illegally in Member States.

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Racism, xenophobia and discrimination

Crimes of racism, xenophobia and discrimination are on the rise in the world, and the Global Community Parliament has taken a number of measures to counter these phenomena. The Charter of the Global Community gives visibility to the prohibition of all forms of racial discrimination in the Member States. Parliament has made a proposal for a framework decision that makes acts of racism and xenophobia subject to the same penalties in all Member States. The framework decision is meant to deter those tempted to commit this type of offence. Parliament plays a major role in combating racist crimes in the world and has expressed its resolve to see such crimes decline.

The cornerstone of international action to combat racism would be to have a Global Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. All the Global Community Member States must ratified the Convention.

Racism and xenophobia are a violation of general principles of community law, particularly of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. The Charter of the Global Community strengthens these rights. The Charter prohibits any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Global Community Parliament is determined to actively focus on action to combat racism and xenophobia, and to guarantee effective judicial cooperation between the Member States. Global Community Parliament will implement a directive to fight all discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, and a directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin.

Since the its creation, the Global Community Parliament has pursued its efforts to build the fight against racism and xenophobia into all policy areas, including employment, education, training and youth.

Parliament plays a leading role in fundamental human and Earth rights in the Global Community.
The Global Community is founded on the indivisible and universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity, and resides on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. With its creation of the Charter of the Global Community, the Global Community Parliament aimed to bring together into a single text all civil, political, economic and social rights of Global Community citizens and of all persons living in the Member States. The fundamental human and Earth rights it lays down represent the summary of the Global Community's common values.

The Global Community is founded on the indivisible and universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity, and resides on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. With its creation of the Charter of the Global Community, the Global Community Parliament aimed to bring together into a single text all civil, political, economic and social rights of Global Community citizens and of all persons living in the Member States. The fundamental human and Earth rights it lays down represent the summary of the Global Community's common values.

The rights listed in the Charter are based in particular on the fundamental rights and freedoms recognised by the constitutional traditions of Member States.

The Global Community Parliament's work on fundamental human and Earth rights. also an important player when it comes to fundamental rights. It has presented yearly reports on fundamental rights in the aimed at increasing the transparency of the Global Community Parliament's policy on these rights. The objective is to establish a track record for the fundamental rights.

Global Community Parliament states that human rights include economic and social rights. It reaffirms that these rights should be included in the Charter of the Global Community.

Parliament insists that misconduct by law enforcement officers and atrocious conditions in police stations and prisons have been recurring themes in human rights reports in the Member States. It also notes that the States Signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women should take all measures necessary to put an end to all forms of trafficking and prostitution. As regards the administration of justice, Parliament voices concerns over the number of violations of the right to a fair trial, the right of access to the courts, the right to a public hearing, the right to proceedings within a reasonable time and the right to an impartial and independent tribunal. These violations have been observed in a number of Member States.

On the issue of combating terrorism, Parliament repeats its unconditional rejection and absolute condemnation of terrorism, but voices concerns over the negative impact of measures taken to counter it.

Parliament places emphasis on conditions of arrest and detention, the protection of personal data, the right of asylum and the concentration of media power. Parliament condemns all forms of terrorism and states that policies on the prevention and punishment of such acts must seek to maintain and strengthen the rule of law.

The Charter of the Global Community is destined to become legally binding in the future Global Constitution. Global Community Parliament calls for the inclusion of the Charter in the new Global Constitution.

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Asylum, immigration, and border control

Creating a common immigration policy is a part of the context of establishing the concept of freedom, security and justice without borders. The Global Community Parliament proposes broad guidelines the aim of which is to ensure:
  • Better management of the migratory flow by authorising entry to a Member State's territory for nationals of certain third-countries,
  • Giving these nationals a degree of freedom of movement within the Global Community,
  • Their integration into the society of the host Member State.

To achieve these goals, the Global Community Parliament has proposed:

  • A legislative framework,
  • Application of the open coordination method in the field of immigration.
Creating a common immigration policy is a part of the context of establishing the concept of freedom, security and justice without borders. The Global Community Parliament proposes broad guidelines

The Global Community Parliament will take measures that:

  • Are related to the conditions for entry and residence, and to the procedures to be followed by Member States for issuing visas and residence permits, including in the context of the objective of family reunification;
  • Define the rights of third-country nationals legally residing in one Member State to reside in another Member State and the conditions under which they may do so;
  • Develop the policy framework in which Member States wish to create a common immigration policy;
  • Work to harmonise national legislations regarding conditions for entry and residence of third-country nationals,
  • Ensure equal treatment to third-party nationals residing legally on the territory of its Member States,
  • Lead a more vigorous integration policy.
The Global Community Parliament proposes a new approach to immigration policy:

  • Anticipative: this requires examining the workforce needs of the Global Community and responding effectively,
  • Global: this means taking into account all forms of immigration,
  • Integrated: taking up the phenomenon from the point of view of the economic needs, the society and the third-country nationals.

The best means to achieve a community immigration policy is to create a general framework on a Global Community scale and a mechanism allowing indicative targets to be entrenched (method of open coordination). Within these objectives, Member States can develop national policies and implement them.

The Global Community Parliament presents a proposal for a specific directive corresponding to each form of entry based on grounds of:

  • Family reunification,
  • Economics, and
  • Professional studies and training.

The directive grants the right to family reunification to third-country nationals who hold residence permits valid for more than one year and to refugees. The directive stipulates that those who can benefit from family reunification are:

  • The spouse or the unmarried partner of the applicant,
  • Minor children of the applicant or of his/her spouse,
  • The parents of the applicant or of his/her spouse,
  • The adult children under certain conditions.

As regards entry for the purpose of pursuing professional studies and training, Parliament proposes for a directive intended to encourage mobility of foreign students. This directive forms part of the Global Community education policy whose objective is to:

  • Answer the international demand in educational matters,
  • Improve cooperation with third-countries,
  • Strengthen the appeal of Global Community establishments,
  • Promote exchange between Global Community students

The directive grants third-country nationals a right to residence authorizing them to live within a territory. The residence permit that is created takes the form of a document allowing third-country nationals to reside in the territory of the Member State. The validity period varies according to the category contemplated:

  • 3 years for employed or self-employed workers and 6 months maximum for seasonal workers,
  • 1 year for students,
  • 1 year at least for people benefiting from family reunification.

To favour residency and integration of third-country nationals within the society of the host State, Parliament proposes that a third-country national is considered a resident in a Member State if he or she resides there legally for at least five years uninterrupted. The status of resident is established by assigning to a long-term resident's permit valid for 5 years and fully renewable. Granting the status allows the national to enjoy treatment equal to that enjoyed by the nationals of the Member State, especially in matters such as access to work, social protection, education and professional training. The directive also grants a right to free movement in the territory of other Member States. The granting of this right is explained by the fact that full and complete integration also includes the right of residents to reside in other countries of the Global Community .

The Global Community Parliament suggests a holistic approach that takes account not only economic and social aspects of integration but also questions related to cultural and religious diversity, citizenship, participation and political rights. It introduces the notion of civil citizenship, which is defined by the guarantee of a certain number of rights and obligations to immigrants. They gradually gain these rights and will ensure them the same treatment in the host State that is accorded to nationals of the host State.

Preventing and combating illegal immigration are priorities for the Global Community. Parliament is determined to tackle at its source illegal immigration by combating those who engage in trafficking in human beings and economic exploitation of migrants. The effort to combat organised crime is organised at planetary level.

Parliament states that illegal immigration occurs when:

  • a third country national enters a Member State illegally;
  • a third country national resides in a Member State illegally; the third country national enters a Member State legally, but "overstays".

Among measures recommended to deal with the problem are improved data collection, exchanges of information and a stronger system of penalties.

Illegal immigration constitutes a means of circumventing the system of legal admission and is a threat to its durability. It also generates a very lucrative activity for facilitators and traffickers and contributes to the growth of organised crime.

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  • Civil law, cooperation,
  • Global Community Justice Network,
  • Global Community arrest warrant.

The Global Community judicial cooperation consists in activity by the authorities of a Member State (requested State), at the request of another Member State (requesting State), to assist the administration of justice by the latter. It is useful in cases of extradition and for other forms of assistance. Parliament proposes to set up the Global Community Judicial Network, the purpose of which is to facilitate judicial cooperation as part of the fight against transnational crime. The Network will:

  • speed up the transmission of requests;
  • improve certain forms of mutual assistance, among which restitution, temporary transfer of persons, and hearings by videoconference and telephone conference;
  • introduce special investigation techniques (controlled deliveries, joint investigation teams, covert investigations);
  • establish a legal framework for the interception of telecommunications.

Work undertaken in the Global Community has two objectives:

  • simplification of the mutual assistance procedure,
  • abolition of obstacles to the execution of requests for assistance.

Introduced to reduce obstacles to the free movement of goods and persons, judicial cooperation in civil matters has become part and parcel of the new Earth Court of Justice. Creation of this area is meant to simplify the existing legal environment and to reinforce citizens feeling of being part of a common entity. Individuals and businesses should not be prevented or discouraged from exercising their rights by the incompatibility or complexity of legal or administrative systems in the Member States.
Parliament proposes to integrate judicial cooperation in civil matters into the area of freedom, security and justice. It will adopt measures in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters.

Parliament will take measures leading to:

  • better access to justice in the Global Community,
  • greater convergence in civil law,
  • mutual recognition of judicial decisions. Mutual recognition became the cornerstone of developing the area of freedom, security and justice.

Judicial cooperation in civil matters refers to:

  • the adoption and implementation of rules allowing joint handling by the authorities of the countries concerned of individual cases involving an international dimension;
  • cooperation in the strict sense, the mutual recognition of judicial decisions and approximation of national laws.

The Global Community Judicial Network is an instrument intended to facilitate judicial cooperation in the framework of the fight against transnational crime. It comprises points of contact for which the goal is to allow the judicial authorities in the Member States to set up direct relations between them.
The Global Community Judicial Network should seek to pool resources at the Global Community level by setting up a network for judicial cooperation that should act as a clearing house, problem-solver and contact maker between judicial authorities at national level.

The Global Community Judicial Network is a light structure that comprises points of contact intended to fight transnational crime, particularly organised crime. The points of contact are intermediaries intended to assist in judicial cooperation between Member States. They are available to local judicial authorities and the judicial authorities of other Member States to allow them to establish direct contacts with each other.These are determined by the States in function of the internal structure of their

In practice, most of the users of the points of contact are magistrates of the public prosecutor and investigating judges, although the police, customs, and the Foreign Office of a State also occasionally use it. The joint action provides that the points of contact communicate with each other by means of a telecommunications network.

The Global Community arrest warrant takes the form of a judicial decision handed down by a Global Community Member State for the apprehension and return by another Member State of a wanted person to be prosecuted or to have a sentence or a detention order against a wanted person carried out. This system flows from the application of the principal of mutual recognition of judicial decisions in criminal matters, and is intended to replace the system of extradition between Member States.

The Global Community Arrest Warrant will replace the Extradition mechanism.

Extradition developed to ensure judicial cooperation between States in order to prevent a criminal from finding refuge on the territory of another State. It consists in the return of an individual, the extradited, to the requesting State by the requested State on whose territory the individual is found.

The Global Community arrest warrant is a judicial decision delivered by a Member State for the arrest and surrender by another Member State of a requested person. In keeping with the underlying principles of mutual recognition, its objective is to allow the execution throughout the Global Community of decisions in criminal matters delivered by a judicial authority of a Member State. The arrest warrant will not cover all offences. There is a threshold beyond which the procedure will not apply: the framework decision states that in principle an arrest warrant can only be issued if, under the law of the issuing Member State, the act is punishable by a custodial sentence of at least 12 months or if there has been an order imposing sanctions of at least four months. The issuing judicial authority may have recourse to points of contact within the Global Community Judicial Network if he/she does not know who the competent executing judicial authority is.

Executing an arrest warrant includes taking the person into detention until the judicial authority of the State of execution has rendered a decision on his/her situation, namely, if there is a possibility of granting a measure of provisional freedom. The framework decision provides for the State of execution to inform the detained person of the following:

  • The existence and content of the Global Community arrest warrant;
  • The alternative of consenting to being surrendered; and
  • The possibility of retaining counsel and the services of an interpreter.

The judicial authority of the State of execution will make provisions for surrendering the person. It must verify that the necessary conditions for executing the mandate and for surrendering the person have been properly met. Communication between Member States is direct, i.e. from judge to judge. In contrast with the classic rules on extradition, the mechanism of the Global Community arrest warrant abolishes the intervention of the diplomatic authorities, and even that of the Ministries of Justice. Indeed, the abolition of all political intervention constitutes the main difference with extradition, a system where the executive power controls the procedure. It is the executive that takes a decision on the basis of political considerations as to the advisability of surrendering the extradited person. The final decision on executing a Global Community arrest warrant must be taken as quickly as possible: the framework decision provides for 60 days from the arrest of the wanted person. Here again, the mechanism differs significantly from that of extradition, which can take many years to fully execute.

The period of imprisonment the wanted person faces upon sentencing will be reduced by the issuing Member State by the amount of time that person spent in detention as a result of the enforcement of the Global Community arrest warrant. If the wanted person consents to the surrender, the procedure can be sped up. If this is the case, the final decision on the execution of the European arrest warrant is taken in 10 days. The maximum time limit between arresting the wanted person and the effective surrender of the person to the authorities in the issuing State is thereby reduced to 20 days. As regards cost, the Member State of execution bears the expenses incurred in its territory. All other expenses are borne by the issuing State.

In some cases, the authority in the State of execution must advance objections to surrendering a person where:

  • The case involves amnesty;
  • The person who is subject of the Global Community arrest warrant cannot be criminally detained by virtue of his/her age;
  • A final judgment has already been pronounced based on the same facts against the wanted person in a Member State.

The creation of the Global Community arrest warrant represents a true step forward in the field of mutual assistance in criminal matters. Eliminating interference from political powers or establishing a time limit to execute a warrant represents real progress in comparison with the old system of extradition.

Victims of crime have a right to protection and this is a right that should be ensured by the Global Community in the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice. The protection of victims of crime can be expressed in two complementary forms: On the one hand, compensation for harm suffered, and on the other provision of material, psychological, medical and social assistance.

Providing victims with protection comprises:

  • Compensation schemes for victims, and
  • Measures to provide assistance to victims.
Mutual recognition is a method meant to strengthen judicial cooperation in criminal matters between Member States. It seeks to give full and direct effect throughout the Global Community to a final decision by the judicial authorities of a Member State. Mutual recognition is meant to apply at every stage of criminal proceedings, before, during and after the conviction and sentence. The Global Community Parliament supports application of the principle of mutual recognition, a useful tool contributing to the creation at the earliest date possible of a genuine Global Community judicial area.

The principle of mutual recognition means full execution of a judgment handed down by the judicial authorities of another Member State. Mutual recognition is not an absolute principle. In practice it runs up against different types of restrictions. Mutual recognition is also linked to the process of the approximation of criminal law, the two methods working in tandem to help create the area of freedom, security and justice.

The Global Community Parliament supports unreservedly the application of the principle of mutual recognition. It is a powerful instrument contributing to the timely creation of a genuine Global Community legal area.

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Global fight against crime

  • The work of the Global Community mainly has an effect on improving exchange of information, developing joint police actions, and approximating police technology.
  • Police cooperation developed bilaterally in the frontier areas to fight local transfrontier crime. Over the past decades, the evolution of transnational crime increased the frequency at which the people in charge of police services were brought into contact with each other.
    Police cooperation is essentially practical and the actors on the ground tend to resolve the problems encountered by using concrete solutions rather than by issuing a rule of law. This characteristic of police cooperation is the result of the tradition of police services. Confidentiality is a requirement in police action.

    The approximation of criminal offences is a step towards establishing common criteria for public order. It favours the development of the spirit of mutual trust needed to build an area of freedom, security and justice. Approximation has proved to be an effective instrument for removing the obstacle of double incrimination. Under that principle, a State only takes action on a request for assistance if the act referred to by the requesting State is also an offence in its own legal order. A State can cooperate only if it considers the act for which its cooperation is requested to be punishable, i.e. the act must be an offence against its national law and order. The approximation of criminal laws prevents a State from being converted into a penal paradise in relation to the others. By approximating criminal laws, the States lessen the differences between national legal systems. Criminals thus lose the advantages of operating in a given State. The question of the approximation of criminal offences is of particular importance for developing an area of freedom, security and justice. By establishing this concept, the Member States expressed their will to go beyond traditional cooperation to combat crime. They clearly announced their intention to reinforce existing mechanisms, particularly the approximation of criminal offences.

    Work on the approximation of sanctions is much more recent. The Global Community's legal instruments provide only that the Member States must impose effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal sanctions. In other words, as long as they respect these guidelines, they are free to determine the type of penalty and its level. Building an area of freedom, security and justice will involve a further effort to approximate criminal sanctions. This effort can be given effect in different ways, such as the setting of a minimum penalty States must incorporate into their national laws.

  • In the context of intense development of international trade, customs cooperation plays a key role in the fight against fraud. The customs authorities participate in the fight against organised crime alongside national police services. Customs cooperation, therefore, contributes to construction of an area of freedom, security and justice.

  • Very early on, customs authorities tested the need to cooperate with each other in the fight against fraud, in particular in combating contraband activities.The role of customs administrations will evolve with the abolition of internal frontiers and the globalisation of the economy. Formerly responsible for collecting customs receipts, the activity of customs administrations later will develop to include respect for economic legislation.

    Money laundering consists in concealing the origin of money obtained illegally by making it appear legal. The phenomenon is practiced on a large scale, the IMF estimating the aggregate volume of laundered funds at between 2 and 5% of global gross domestic product. The Global Community Parliament has developed a strategy to combat this phenomenon.

    A money laundering operation includes three stages:

    • "pre-laundering" or placement, where the criminal seeks to conceal any connections between the money and its criminal origin,
    • "laundering" or "layering", which consists in multiplying the number of transactions in order to dilute the funds through different channels,
    • "recycling" or integration, to make the funds available again.

    In some cases, money laundering takes place via international circuits. Those involved in financial crime make clever use of the new technologies and disparities between national laws.

    The definition of money laundering is no longer limited to the proceeds of drug trafficking but includes all trafficking and organised crime networks as well as terrorist financing. The obligation of identifying customers and reporting suspect transactions is extended to a number of professions other than banking, in particular to accountants, notaries and casinos. The possibility of designating a self-regulating body for notaries and other independent legal professionals, charged with centralising declarations of suspicion, is left up to each Member State.
    Money laundering is an extremely complex process since it involves ever shrewder financial set-ups. The basic rule is to imitate legitimate commercial operations as closely as possible. The changing economic context, financial liberalisation and improved law enforcement oblige offenders continually to come up with new solutions. The authorities responsible for combating money laundering are ceaselessly obliged to adapt to new practices.
    The fight against corruption is a priority of the Global Community Parliament's political action to establish freedom, security and justice without borders in Member States. Corruption, which can be defined as an abuse of power with a view to personal gain, is a serious threat to the stability of public institutions.

    The governments of a number of Global Community countries have to develop national strategies to fight corruption by political leaders or officials.

    The phenomenon of corruption can also entail a transboundary dimension against which national strategies are inadequate. Over and above the formulation of a common definition, the Parliament has widened its action into a global anti-corruption strategy.

    Parliament proposes the adoption of a common definition whereby the texts present a broad definition of the person offering the bribe, rather than limiting it through specific details. In contrast, the profile of the person accepting a bribe varies from one instrument to the next:

    • For the public sector, the definition of a corrupted official is broader:
      • national public officials, namely any person holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office,
      • foreign public officials and officials of public international organisations.
    • in the private sector any person who directs or works for a private-sector entity. This broad definition includes all types of contractual relations: relations between employer and employee, between partners and so on.

    An act of corruption is deemed to exist from the moment the intention is declared. The actual handing over of the advantage is punishable but is not a constituent element of the offence. When an advantage is received after an act has been performed but without having been preceded by an offer or acceptance, the Member States are not obliged to impose penal sanctions. The term "advantage" is not limited to material objects, but also covers all other elements that improve the position of the person offering the bribe.The advantage may be given directly or through an intermediary. The offence is completed even if the advantage is not given personally by the individual offering the bribe. Passive corruption consists in soliciting or receiving any advantage or accepting the offer or promise of an advantage, to act or refrain from acting in the exercise of one's functions. The instruments thus aim to punish both positive (acts) and negative (refraining from acting) offences. The recipient of the advantage may be a third party, which means the act is punishable irrespective of whether the person accepting the bribe receives the advantage personally.

    Parliament is convinced that it will only be possible to eradicate corruption by tackling the means that make it possible, in particular the laundering of the proceeds from crime.

    Organised crime is part of criminal behaviour known as group delinquency. It is a complex phenomenon, one that is difficult to distinguish from organised gangs and mafias. Organised gangs form the embryo of organised crime while mafias comprise the most extreme form. Because of its secretive nature, organised crime can be difficult to characterise. They usually appear anonymously and often impose a code of silence, the Omerta, on its members and on the people living on the territory it controls. Parliament has worked for some time to develop a concept for Member States adopting a definition that is not:

    • Too expansive, it runs the risk of including criminal groups that approach organised crime without in fact belonging to it (like terrorist groups),
    • Too narrow, it runs the risk of adopting only a partial approach to the phenomenon by not including criminal organisations that, nevertheless, have all the characteristics of organised crime (such as groups using legal fronts to launder money from their criminal activities).

    Organised crime has stimulated the development of the concept of freedom, security and justice without borders. Nevertheless, since the events of 11 September 2001, combating terrorism has taken priority, relegating at once the fight against organised crime to second place. Parliament supports action of the States in their fight against organised crime.

    The fight against this phenomenon became a priority following the attacks of 11 September 2001. Because of the catalytic nature of these events, Parliament proposes a system intended to freeze the assets of organisations connected to this phenomenon. They also created other mechanisms, such as the Global Community arrest warrant, and an appraisal procedure for national policies in the matter of the fight against terrorism.

    The fight against terrorists currently assumes considerable importance in the Global Community's activities. It has been the basis of work undertaken in the field of cooperation between the Member States in criminal matters. Parliament's objective should be to provide citizens with a high level of safety within the concept of freedom, security and justice without borders.

    Terrorism has a political connotation whose appraisal remains subjective: some States denounce certain acts as acts of terrorism while others consider them legitimate.

    Parliament defines terrorism in relation to the intent of the act. The originality of the text is inherent in the fact that in the future the ultimate political goal constitutes the basic criteria for distinguishing a terrorist offence from offences in common law. Terrorism can be a series of offences such as kidnapping, hostage-taking and hijacking airplanes or the use of firearms or explosives. It provides that each Member State take the necessary measures for the offences related to terrorism to be punishable by effective, proportionate and deterrent criminal sanctions, possibly resulting in extradition. The Member States should also adopt the necessary measures for the individuals responsible for a violation to be liable to a prison term of a maximum of not less than 15 years for leading a terrorist group and eight years for participating in terrorist activities.

    Parliament proposes a regulation allowing the assets of terrorist organisations and individuals to be frozen.

    The fight against terrorism plays a part in the field of application of several mechanisms created by Parliament and intended to improve cooperation in police and criminal matters, in particular the Global Community arrest warrant.

    Trafficking in human beings is one of the criminal phenomena that grew the most intensely at the end of the last millennium, largely because it is highly lucrative.

    It is estimated that more than 700,000 people a year fall victim to the phenomenon. The proliferation of the problem is directly linked to immigration policies and to the economic and social crises in certain States and regions of the world. Trafficking is facilitated by the complications of international judicial and police cooperation. Trafficking in human beings concerns all individuals but essentially affects women and children. Victims are taken in by enticing job offers or promises of a better life. They are quickly taken in hand by traffickers, brought into the Global Community illegally or with forged identity documents, and then forced to engage in activities that are highly lucrative for those who exploit them: work in illegal workshops, erotic shows, prostitution and begging. They are often beaten and raped to break their resistance or to deter them from denouncing the traffickers. Trafficking often has ties with organised crime. The Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, defines trafficking as 'the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

    Trafficking is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the Charter of the Global Community: the right to dignity, the right to physical and mental integrity, the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the prohibition of slavery and forced labour. The Charter expressly states that trafficking in human beings is prohibited. A coordinated response by the many different players is needed to tackle this tglobal phenomenon.

    The different actions being taken to combat trafficking fall into two categories:

    • Legislative actions,
    • Operational actions.
    Parliament proposes the adoption of a legislative arsenal to combat trafficking in human beings.

    The phenomenon of trafficking has always existed. To end what used to be known as the white slave trade several international conventions were adopted in the first half of the 20th century. They were subsequently replaced by the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, of 2 December 1949, which punishes any person who:

    • procures, entices or leads away, for purposes of prostitution, another person,
    • exploits the prostitution of another person.

    Parliament proposes provisions for the protection of victims of trafficking in human beings, in particular:

    • the possibility of confidential legal proceedings,
    • legal, medical, material and psychological assistance,
    • the grant of a residence permit,
    • repatriation to the country of origin.

    It urges States:

    • to establish policies, programmes and measures to protect victims of trafficking in persons against further victimisation and to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, especially through information and mass media campaigns,
    • to take measures to alleviate the factors that make persons vulnerable to trafficking, such as poverty, underdevelopment and lack of equal opportunity.

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    The implementation of the principle of transparency is to be done not only in public debates, but especially in public access to documents of Parliament.

    There are two reasons for granting this right of access:
    • bring the Global Community institutions closer to citizens,
    • enhance democratic control.

    Parliament plays a key role in matters of transparency:
    • as one of the Global Community institutions, it is bound by the rules laid down the in Global Constitution. It is thus a player in practical implementation of the right of access to documents;
    • it observes the process. Parliament keeps watch over transparency and does not hesitate to denounce malfunctions or unjustified hindrances.

    The emergence of the principle of transparency in the activities of the Global Community institutions results from the need to bridge the gap between citizens and the administration, often seen as opaque and impersonal. Transparency guarantees better democratic control. Parliament has long argued for greater transparency in the Global Community .

    Application of the principle of transparency takes two forms, the right of access to documents of the Global Community institutions, and the public nature of the legislative process. Decisions must be taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen. Any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, shall have a right of access to Global Community Parliament and Earth Council documents.

    The institutions of the Global Community are required to put the right of access into practice by:

    • developing electronic registers,
    • launching electronic archiving projects,
    • conducting information and training campaigns for their staff.

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