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New European Crimes and Trust-based Policy

Final Report Summary - FIDUCIA (New European Crimes and Trust-based Policy)

Executive Summary:
The research project FIDUCIA – New European Crimes and Trust Based Policy – was funded primarily by the European Commission from the 7th Framework Programme for Research.

The objective of FIDUCIA was to explore the potential, as well as the limits, of non-coercive approaches to securing compliance with various types of criminal law. FIDUCIA was concerned with policies that do not rely primarily on deterrent threat, but aim to secure normative compliance instead. Normative compliance can be contrasted with coerced compliance. It taps those human impulses not simply to do the best thing for oneself, but to do the right thing. The work of FIDUCIA over the last years has focussed in particular on strategies for building or sustaining the legitimacy of the criminal law and the legitimacy of the justice system. We have called this a ‘trust-based approach’ to criminal policy, derived largely from procedural justice theory. Our work has concentrated on three categories of crime that the European Commission has regarded as policy priorities:

• The trafficking of human beings
• The trafficking of goods
• Cybercrime

In addition to these crime types, FIDUCIA also examined the problems associated with the criminalisation and over-policing of irregular migrants and people from ethnic minorities.

FIDUCIA also established a better understanding of trust and attitudes to justice abroad through the design and fielding of a 7-country survey (Italy, UK, Lithuania, Germany, Finland, Turkey, Bulgaria).

Finally, FIDUCIA produced a solid and coherent set of policy briefs and recommendations in the areas of human trafficking, trafficking of goods, cybercrime and the crimes of migrants and disseminated its findings through a series of publications as well as international events and focus groups with policy makers at the national level.

Project Context and Objectives:
The FIDUCIA project stemmed from the idea that "public trust in justice" is critical for social regulation, since it is tightly related to the respect attached to institutions, and therefore to personal compliance with the law. Without, of course, arguing that criminal law and its implementation is useless in crime prevention, FIDUCIA attempts to outline, in the long term, a variety of trust based policy guidelines designed to generate a change of direction in the way of giving criminal justice across Europe.

When submitted for consideration to the European Commission, the FIDUCIA project (named after the latin term for “trust”), which was designed by a network of European Universities and Research Centres, could not have predicted how important the very concept of "trust" would become for the future of Europe in the following years, even beyond the boundaries of criminal policy. What has emerged clearly over the past few years is that Europe needs trust to enable people to do business with each other and to ultimately guide global financial investments. Moreover, it is only by building trust among European Countries and citizens that successful policies can be developed. Thus, "trust" is not only an added value that generates wealth and economic prosperity, but also a crucial “pre-condition” for the establishment of a truly “common” European area of supra-national policy.

What is the aim of the FIDUCIA project?

The FIDUCIA project (Full title: New European Crimes and Trust-Based Policy) sheds light on a number of distinctively “new European” criminal behaviours that have emerged in the last decade as a consequence of technology developments and the increased mobility of populations across Europe. To put it simply, it assesses whether new ways of regulating the sorts of crime that are becoming more common as we move towards a more integrated Europe, with improved communication and large movements of citizens and non-citizens between Member States can be found. As explained in the proposal, the central idea behind the FIDUCIA project is that public trust in justice is important for social regulation; this is why the consortium proposes a “trust-based policy" model in relation to emerging forms of criminality.

What does the FIDUCIA team mean by “trust-based policy”?

This is an important idea, which requires explaining. Typically, most people think that police and criminal justice systems control crime through systems of deterrent threat. They suppose that people obey the law because they want to avoid the costs of conviction and punishment. This is generally true, but it is only part of the story. Most people obey the law first of all because we think it is the right thing to do – this is called “normative commitment to the law”. Obviously, the police and the courts play an important role in maintaining this commitment and they can do it best when they command legitimate authority. In fact, people are more likely to obey the law and to cooperate with police and justice officials when they regard them as legitimate. Moreover, public trust is crucial to legitimacy. Research carried out in the past by FIDUCIA members has demonstrated that the surest way of building the legitimacy of the police and courts is for justice officials to treat people fairly and respectfully, and to listen to what they have to say. This creates public trust in justice, which builds system legitimacy and improves public commitment to the law and cooperation with justice.

From the operational point of view, the FIDUCIA project can be regarded as a umbrella research effort, in which an array of interconnected “micro-units” have been developed in an attempt to: (a) monitor state policies in different areas of crime through appropriate case studies; (b) identify good and bad practices with regard to criminalization across Europe; and (c) investigate the four crime themes that are crucial to the FIDUCIA project, namely trafficking of human beings, trafficking of goods, the criminalization of migration and ethnic minorities and cybercrimes).

Its main findings were eventually translated into a set of easy-to-read and sharp policy briefs that project members disseminated at both domestic and EU level.

The FIDUCIA team is proud to have established a very cohesive relationship with its Consortium members, most of which have worked together since 2008 in the EURO-JUSTIS project.

It must also be noted that work under FIDUCIA was supervised during the course of the project by a high-profile panel of experts, which constituted the EEG (External Expert Group). The EEG members gave feedback in writing, reviewed the project deliverables and occsionally took active part in progress meetings and international conferences.

Project Results:
The recommendations of the FIDUCIA project suggest trust-based strategies and approaches that are alternative to the “law and order” policies.

The latter are quite widely used in modern legal systems. However, so far they have not proven effective enough in the fight against crime. Thus, Member States and EU institutions must engage in every possible effort to pursue innovative trust-based policy solutions aside of the traditional "deterrence-based" strategies in governing several forms of crime. The following recommendations deal with the above-mentioned crimes (plus the criminalisation of irregular migration) and are grouped according to three criteria:

1. Training, education and awareness
2. Procedural justice
3. Private-public cooperation

1. Training, education and awareness campaigns

Training and education play a pivotal role in the fight against crime. Deeper awareness is needed both from the side of the authorities involved, and from the side of the public. Indeed, the first category is in charge and has the “coercive” power to tackle the offence. On the other hand, the public constitutes the demand for the criminal supply (e.g. counterfeit goods, illegal downloading, cheap labor). Moreover, victims of crime and vulnerable layers of the society (minorities and migrants for instance) should be made aware of the opportunities and the rights they are entitled to.
To approach this issue, the FIDUCIA project provides policymakers with a series of recommendations. These proposals address the weaknesses of the current approach in fighting crime, which sometimes lacks proper knowledge of the phenomenon and awareness about its risks and side effects.

Human Trafficking:

• Member States should improve the training of officials and other professionals likely to come into contact with victims and potential victims of human trafficking. Lack of special training in both prosecuting offenders and in satisfactorily protecting victims results in low levels of trust in their efficiency and capability, and reluctance to cooperate with them.
• Better engagement with migrants’ communities will help the authorities to strengthen the censure and condemnation that society should direct towards the behaviour of traffickers. The FIDUCIA project has shown that traffickers are often not perceived as deviant figures in their community; on the contrary, they may have a positive reputation. Changing the moral climate around their activity may have an impact on the profitability of their business – as well as make it more difficult to conduct it.
• Misrepresentation of migration prospects should be avoided. Instead, clear information should be provided to migrants on the immigration process and procedures, including giving them concrete tips on how to protect themselves from deceptive recruitment, and where and how to report abuse and seek assistance.
• EU Member States should mobilise efforts and public attitudes to combat discriminatory and xenophobic attitudes. Monitoring and enforcement activities should aim at protecting the fundamental rights of migrants at work and at preventing their abuse and exploitation.
• EU Member States should promote awareness-raising on safe migration opportunities aimed at empowering potential migrants to make informed decisions on the basis of accurate and practical information about concrete opportunities, realistic benefits, and potential risks.

Trafficking of Alcohol:

• Instrumental strategies to control the trafficking of cigarettes and alcohol, including strengthening of external border controls, the sharing of intelligence, improving methods of detection as well as enforcing criminal sanctions, will continue to be advanced within the European Union.
• Increasing knowledge about the health risks from consuming unregulated products is another way to increase consumer scepticism. Although a less obvious strategy because of economic inequalities and distrust of government policies, there is some capacity to encourage only legal purchase of cigarettes and alcohol by showing the harm done to government investment in, for example, public services or health systems, because of lost tax revenue.

Trafficking of Art:
• As applies to efforts to tackle markets for other trafficked and counterfeit products, awareness-raising about the trades or messages about negative impacts and links to serious criminality have to be delivered by the right kind of messenger. Wealthy companies whose profits are being damaged by product piracy or counterfeits are unlikely to be regarded as objective or to receive a sympathetic ear. Company entreaties to buy real not fake will have limited effect when buying the genuine article is beyond the means of most would-be consumers.

• Member States have to improve the training of cyber experts and members of criminal justice system as well as to enhance the activities for building their capacity to prevent, detect or/and investigation cybercrime.
• EU Member States need to support awareness-raising campaigns on safer internet and potential risks targeted the public at large and particularly specific and most vulnerable groups. They should pay more efforts to promote and protect human rights.
• EU Member States should enhance the awareness-raising and capacity-building activities of labour inspectorates, police, immigration, prosecutors and judges in order to detect and respond to indications of abuse, exploitation and trafficking of migrants.

• Criminalising language should not be used in policy discussions about irregular migrants. Other institutions and Member States should follow the earlier initiatives of the European Commission and not refer to irregular migrants as ”illegal”.

2. Procedural Justice

Modern legal systems are often characterized by repressive and retributive approaches. The authorities implement deterrent strategies in order to prevent the community from committing crimes. This approach is based on the assumption that people do not commit crime for the threat of being sanctioned.
However, authorities should focus more on fairness of their conduct, in order to gain legitimacy and trust from their citizens. Indeed, fair and trustworthy authorities are more legitimized. Increased legitimacy leads to increased (and more spontaneous and voluntary) compliance with the rules. In this regard, the following recommendations are addressed.

Human trafficking:

• Law enforcement and labour inspection authorities should seek to detect and address indications of labour and other exploitation before investigating the legal status of the migrant workers. This will help build a foundation of trust between migrants, migrant communities and law enforcement and inspection authorities.
• More effort should be placed on the coordination of actions between the different authorities and bodies dealing with the trafficking phenomenon. More social and victim–oriented measures are required, such as better integration of the victim into the job market, financial support for their autonomous livelihood for short-term periods, and social housing.
• Member States should implement strategies that will reduce the level of corruption and increase the efficiency and fairness of institutions. Professionalism and fairness of some police forces should also be improved.
• All Member States should harmonize their methods of preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims. This includes appointing anti-trafficking coordinators in all Member States and setting up joint investigation teams when working on transnational cases.
• EU Member States should promote the self-regulation of businesses in order to prevent trafficking and exploitation during recruitment as well as in the workplace and in the labour supply chains.
• EU Member States should ensure that when purchasing goods, works and services, all public sector organisations, including state-owned, controlled or supported enterprises, have in place appropriate due-diligence procedures to guarantee respect for human rights and labour rights and to prevent exploitation and trafficking of migrant workers.

Migration and Policing Minorities:

• The rights of those subject to immigration detention should be clearly set out in a single document, and every person subject to detention in an EU Member State should receive a copy in a language that the person understands. This would ensure that individuals are aware of and able to exercise their rights, and would further compliance with procedural safeguards and reduce the risk of improper, inhuman or degrading treatment.
• EU funding should be directed towards promoting inclusive policies towards irregular migrants at local and regional levels. This would reduce social exclusion and marginalisation whilst improving access to services and the exercise of fundamental rights.
• Adoption of principles of procedural justice involves substantial changes in police culture, and these principles will be embedded effectively only with strong leadership, and approaches to the professional development of staff that involve coaching and mentoring.
• The European Union should more expressly characterise Roma EU citizens as rights-bearing EU citizens.
• The central role of local and regional authorities in recognising and upholding rights of EU citizenship should be acknowledged and efforts should be directed towards the elimination of institutional discrimination through national accountability and compliance mechanisms in combination with capacity building.
• Police leaders should be encouraged to adopt principles of organisational justice in guiding internal management, as workforces are unlikely to treat their publics fairly if they feel their own employers fail to follow fair procedures.
• Police should concentrate on building legitimacy in those communities where relations are weakest, and amongst groups who are most at risk of criminal involvement.
• Police should pay particular attention to the ways in which they treat suspects in street encounters (identity checks, stop-and-search), bearing in mind that negative experiences damage their legitimacy much more than positive experiences build legitimacy.
• Member states should encourage the adoption of principles of procedural justice in policing, with legitimacy serving as a criterion for effective policing.

3. Private-Public Cooperation

Regulating social order does not represent a task only for the public authorities. Indeed, the most comprehensive and inclusive approach in tackling crime is desirable. All the actors involved in the process should be included and play a role, including authorities, consumers, sellers, companies. That is why a balanced interaction and cooperation between the public and the private sector have to be encouraged. Some examples and recommendations are as follows.

• Stronger European and international public-private partnerships are necessary to promote and implement global and comprehensive policies against cyber-threats. There is also a need to improve cooperation between law enforcement and Internet service providers in order to enhance cybercrime prevention and investigation while respecting the fundamental rights of users.
• EU Member States should promote the self-regulation of businesses, co-regulations and all relevant private/public partnerships in order to prevent cybercrime. Best models and practices of self-regulations and non-legislative measures could serve as a starting point for developing policies based on trust and persuasive measures.

Trafficking of Alcohol:
• Another strategy for development, are initiatives to garner agreements with lawful companies, to ensure cooperation in deterring illegal manufacture or trafficking of their products. Internal Codes of Practice have also been implemented by some companies – and this could be more widely encouraged - to demonstrate to staff (and consumers) the company attitude towards the illegal market and to highlight its damaging effects on business. These codes and agreements aim to promote ‘good business behaviour’ and corporate responsibility for assisting governments in reducing illegal markets. Such approaches represents a halfway point between instrumental and trust-based policies, in that they combine elements of pressure from government and the potential to change, through corporate behaviour setting an example, norms regarding the moral appropriateness of the illegal trade.

Trafficking of antiques and wildlife:
• There is considerable scope for the application of trust-based approaches to the trafficking of high-value commodities such as art, antiques, ivory and rhino horn. These include initiatives to improve self-regulation among art dealers and ‘soft power diplomacy’ to discourage consumer demand (for example in relation to ivory and horn).


Overall, FIDUCIA provided policymakers and institutions with the main recommendations to govern crimes. In particular, while presenting these strategies for implementing a trust-based approach, we have considered the following offences and phenomena:
• The trafficking of human beings
• The trafficking of goods
• Cybercrime
• Criminalisation and over-policing of irregular migrants and people from ethnic minorities

In this regard, specifically, we have identified the following key approaches to address these concerns:
• Training, education and awareness
• Procedural justice
• Private-public cooperation

After having listed the most critical policy proposals, we can therefore highlight some recurrent features in these strategies. These are, namely:
• The importance of knowledge, education and positive attitude of the public opinion
• The fairness, legitimacy and trustworthy conduct of authorities leads to increased trust by the community, therefore paving the way to a better compliance with the law.
• Mutual cooperation and active engagement of all the actors involved (authorities, consumers, citizens...) contribute to build a multifaceted and comprehensive approach towards crime.

FIDUCIA also produced a separate set of specific policy briefs for the following areas of crime:
• Cybercrimes
• Criminalisation of irregular migration
• Trafficking of art and antiques and product piracy
• Human trafficking
• Policing minorities
• Trafficking of cigarettes and alcohol

The time has come for governments and policy makers to rethink their strategies in fighting crime. The FIDUCIA policy recommendations, based on trust, legitimacy, and procedural justice, indicate an innovative way of dealing with crime, which can constitute an effective and less onerous alternative to the current approach.

Potential Impact:

It is hoped that the FIDUCIA objective to reopen the difficult question on "why do people break the law?" will have a long lasting effect on criminology research and policy making across Europe.

The FIDUCIA project inverted this traditional question to discover reasons for compliance with the law by focussing on a different set of explanations. When it is asked why we ourselves obey the criminal law, most of the time, we immediately look to answers that are couched in terms of normative compliance. When people ask why others break the law, explanations tend to be in terms of instrumental factors, such as insufficient deterrence or insufficient responsiveness to deterrence.

While addressing a number of current criminal emergencies (human trafficking, immigration, trafficking of goods, cybercrime, etc) and spotting common pan-European policy problems (such as ineffective over-criminalisation), FIDUCIA specifically offered a set of guidelines and policy recommendations that could lead to a change of direction in the way of governing crime across Europe. The reccomendations are specifically listed in a set of easy-to-read policy briefs, which were published at the closing Brussels conference in May 2015. Of course, implementation is in the hand of national and EU policy makers but all project partners are committed to continue promote the FIDUCIA idea of a trust-based policy model and future project proposals will be submitted by this research team (to the EC and other entities) to further develop thsi idea and further identify strategies based on values other than "law and order" and "deterrence"

It must also be noted that the results of the 7-country survey will be available for further research, in line with the practice of our research team - dating back from the survey made during the EURO-JUSTIS project.

Overall, the FIDUCIA project was designed to advance – through rigorous theoretical and empirical re-search - the knowledge basis that underpins the formulation and implementation of policies related to a number of the “new” criminal behaviours (trafficking of human beings, trafficking of goods, criminalisation of migration and ethnic minorities, cybercrimes). In doing so, FIDUCIA achieved a critical mass of resources and involved relevant academic communities and institutional players - including policy makers and members of the judiciary -, with a view to developing a model of “trust-based policy” that is precisely the long-term beneficial alternative to penal populism and – often ineffective - deterrence strategies.

It is hope tht the product of FIDUCIA (the trust-based policy model) will clearly advance the state-of-the-art in the areas of criminal law, criminology and sociology and contribute to a change of direction in policy making regarding crime and deviance.


FIDUCIA findings were disseminated during the course of the projects through publications, events, leaflets, the project website and the publication of a FIDUCIA minivideo.


Alongside with a long list of independent publication by project members (which is available elsewhere in this report), FIDUCIA also produced three stand-alone volumes of findings in the form of three books.

• Volume #1, S. Maffei and L. Markopoulou (eds), FIDUCIA, Justice need Trust, FP7 Research project for new European crimes and trust-based policy, published by EPLO in September 2013
• Volume #2, S. Maffei and L. Markopoulou (eds), FIDUCIA, Justice need Trust, FP7 Research project for new European crimes and trust-based policy, published by EPLO in September 2014
• Volume #3, S. Maffei and S. Carrillo Calderón (eds), FIDUCIA, Justice need Trust, FP7 Research project for new European crimes and trust-based policy, published by EPLO in April 2015


A decision was taken over the course of the project to produce a summary “mini-video” to disseminate the project concept and findings. The final decision was to combine a number of short interviews of members of the FIDUCIA research team.

The mini-video was finalised in May 2015 and published on YouTube on June 5, 2015

It feature statements on penal populism, trust in justice, migration, Human Trafficking and the basic feature of the FIDUCIA project from the following team members:

Stefano Maffei (UNIPR)
Andreas Pottakis (EPLO)
Mai Sato (BBK)
Stephany Carrillo (UNIPR),
Anniina Jokinen and Anni LIetonen (HEUNI)
Todor Galev (CSD)
Evaldas Visockas (TEISE)
Luz Palomero (USAL)
Susanne Knickmeier (MPI-CC)
Zsolt Boda (MTA-TK)

The phrase “Justice Needs Trust” - the motto of the project - is spelt out in several languages (Italian, Spanish, Greek, Bulgarian, Finnish, Lithuanian) in the final portion of the mini-video

The minivideo is now available at the link:

Conference, meetings and focus groups

During the course of 36 months of research and dissemination efforts, the objectives of FIDUCIA were successfully achieved through the primary activities and events of the FIDUCIA project, namely the:

• Holding of a kick-off meeting in London (2012)
• Holding of International Conferences in Bilbao (2012), Budapest (2013), and Prague (2014), in conjunction with the annual reunion of the European Society of Criminology;
• Holding of progress meetings in Parma (2013), Freiburg (2014) and Oxford (2015);
• Final conference in Brussels, 26 May 2015

A number of additional events (seminars and focus groups, interviews with relevant players) were hosted in the home countries of project partners on a number of occasions, precisely to promote and disseminate the concept of a trust-based policy or to collect valuable field information for certain specified deliverables and tasks.

Dissemination also occured through the valuable work and support of the 20 members of the External Expert Group, which we warmly thank for their ideas and critiques during the course of the project.

List of Websites: