EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats) is a security initiative driven by EU Member States to identify, prioritise and address threats posed by organised and serious international crime.
In 2021, EMPACT became a permanent instrument, as set in the Council conclusions on the permanent continuation of the EU Policy Cycle for organised and serious international crime: EMPACT 2022+.
EMPACT runs in four-year cycles. It is a multidisciplinary cooperation platform of Member States, supported by all EU institutions, bodies and agencies (such as, Europol, Frontex, Eurojust, CEPOL, OLAF, EU-LISA, EFCA and others). Third countries, international organisations, and other public and private partners are also associated.
In May 2021, the Council adopted the conclusions setting the priorities for the EMPACT cycle (January 2022 - December 2025):
- high-risk criminal networks
- trafficking in human beings
- child sexual exploitation
- migrant smuggling
- drug trafficking
- fraud, economic and financial crimes
- organised property crime
- environmental crime
- firearms trafficking
In addition to these priorities, document fraud will be addressed as a common horizontal strategic goal, since it is a key enabler for many crimes.
European Commission support to EMPACT
The European Commission:
- provides financial support to EMPACT activities
- chairs the meeting to define the “Multi-Annual Strategic Plan” (MASP),
- participates in the Operational Action Plans (OAPs) and the meetings of the National EMPACT Coordinators (NECs)
- coordinates the strategic goal related to the “external dimension” of EMPACT
- supports EMPACT coordinated actions, such as Operation ARMSTRONG and ongoing initiatives such as the common response to serious and organised crime linked to the war in Ukraine
The European Commission also works together with the Member States, the Council of the European Union and the Agencies to ensure consistency of EMPACT actions with EU political priorities and other initiatives, and promotes general awareness of EMPACT in security dialogs.
In April 2021, the Commission presented a new EU Strategy to tackle Organised Crime, focusing on boosting law enforcement and judicial cooperation, tackling organised crime structures and high priority crimes, removing criminal profits and ensuring a modern response to technological developments. This strategy strongly articulates with EMPACT. Additionally, a Commission Staff Working Document on EMPACT, accompanying this Strategy, outlines in detail a number of measures in order to use EMPACT to its full potential, and turn it into a true EU flagship instrument for multidisciplinary and multiagency operational cooperation to fight organised crime at EU level.”
Periodically, the European Commission conducts an independent evaluation at the end of four years, generating recommendations on what to improve in the next EMPACT cycle.
EMPACT 2021 results video
- Council of the EU - the fight against organised crime
- EMPACT Terms of Reference (Council document, public, 9921/21, 17 June 2021)
- EUROPOL: #EMPACT- Robust action to target the most pressing criminal threats
- EUROJUST: Prosecuting with EMPACT
- Law enforcement cooperation: Operational cooperation
Factsheets, leaflets and infographics
- Factsheet: EMPACT – 2021 operational results (including full cycle results 2018-2021)
- Infographic: Results of the EU's fight against crime (2018-2021)
- Factsheet: EMPACT – 2020 operational results
- Factsheet: EMPACT – 2019 operational results
- Leaflet: What is EMPACT