The presence of organized crime (OC) represents a specific threat to the establishment and furthering of the rule of law in countries around the world, including the region of the Western Balkans. OC hampers the rule of law in a number of ways: by representing a direct threat to security and safety of citizens, by challenging law and public authorities - in primis law enforcement and criminal justice institutions - thus creating a climate of diminished public trust but also by distorting public goods and policy-making through the use of illegal means such as corruption or extortion.
An important step to strengthening policies against organized crime is to improve the understanding of its scope and of the ways it operates. While progress has been made in identifying promising approaches to investigate OC on the basis of quantitative and qualitative evidence, it is clear that further work is needed to make the statistical and analytical profile of OC less blurred. The MACRO project serves to further strengthen and enhance existing measurement and assessment of organized crime in the region and will work to provide a complementary evidence base to current initiatives.
In order to better understand the nature and dynamics of organized crime in the region, MACRO activities include developing a statistical and conceptual framework for measuring and monitoring organised crime, establishing a mechanism to collect available data and to develop a consolidated methodology to produce regular analytical reports on OC in the region, focusing on trends and patterns of illegal activities by OC, including on their economic value, on the modus operandi of organised criminal groups and on the response of criminal justice systems to OC. These activities will strengthen existing efforts in the region to fight organized crime.
The final output of the MACRO project is the below regional report.