Special Events

The G8 and Transnational Organized Crime:
The Evolution of G8 Expertise on the International Stage

Amandine Scherrer, PhD
Post-Doctoral Researcher, CERIUM, Université de Montréal

Munk Centre for Internatonal Studies, Toronto
January 21, 2008

Presented by the G8 Research Group

Introduction

The goal of this presentation is to share with you the outcomes of my doctoral research on The Evolution of G8 Expertise on transnational organized crime at the international level. But I first would like to start with several comments on how I conducted this research.

When I started my Doctoral research a couple of years ago, there were a very few documentation on how the G8 was dealing with the issue of international crime. So, not very originally, I started to have a look at the G8 official documents available, and namely on the G8 research group website. The main sources of information are the Final Communiqués issued at the end of each G8 Summit and the official statements issued after the G8 ministerial meetings, both of which are very broad and neither of which provide many details. With regards to the issue of organized crime, the Communiqués offer only few provisions on what is accomplished. Moreover, G8 Final Communiqués do not reflect the Summit preparatory process and only show the result of the consensus reached between the member states. From a careful study of the official documentation, several points appeared, which have constituted some of my research axes.

The first point was that international crime has been firstly dealt at the G8 level at the end of the 80s from the angle of drug trafficking and money laundering. If you are familiar with the literature on international crime, this is a constant of the International organisations (the UN, the EU and so on). Most of the main International or Regional organisations have started to tackle the issue of international crime through drug trafficking and money laundering, then have focused on transnational crime as a whole during the 90's, and have finally focused on the links between organized crime and terrorism after 9/11.

The second aspect I have found was that in the official documentation between 1995 and 2005, a specific G8 experts group on transnational crime was mentioned from time to time, but without giving any specific information on who these experts were, how they were working together, and what was their exact role within the G8 structure. This aspect led me to undertake further research on this G8 experts group. I had then in mind the hypothesis that maybe this experts group were at the core of the G8 action against transnational organized crime (TOC). This research encountered plenty of difficulties that I would like to share briefly with you.

Therefore, finding names of some of these experts, meeting them, making them talk on such a delicate issue as most of the information on the fight against TOC are rather confidential, have led to a rather difficult investigation. I'm not going to enter too much in the details, but I just want to expose the main sources of information I got in order to highlight the G8 expertise in this field.

From this material, and of course from the analysis of the existing studies and literature on the G8, I have been able to gather interesting elements to analyse the evolution of the G8 expertise in the field of TOC from 1995 until 2005.

Today I'm very glad to present to you the major outcomes of my research, organized around 4 main axes. The first will try to provide an understanding as to why TOC has been put on the G8 agenda and how a specific expertise on this topic has been set up. The second point will highlight the nature of this expertise. The third point will provide an understanding on the influence this expertise has played on the international stage. The last point which will be my conclusion will highlight the consequences on 9/11 on this expertise.

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1. The G8 and the issue of transnational organized crime: a general overview

The G8 is usually seen as an economic, and only an economic, forum. It is true that the first G7 Summit in 1975 (Russia was not a member then) was devoted to macroeconomic issues. But increasingly, and particularly after the fall of the USSR, the G8 explored a broader set of issues, such as global health, environment, and of course transnational organized crime. The G8 has thus not always only been an economic institution. According to Nicholas Bayne, the absence of a clear mandate or mission statement allows free discussions among the leaders and the agenda can be set freely. Thus, even in the early years of the G7 summits, conversations took place at the margins on issues of the day. For example terrorism and hijacking were addressed in 1978, and drug trafficking has been a perennial issue since the 1980's.

Yet, even though the G8 has addressed the problem of drug trafficking and money laundering for quite a long time (the Financial Action Task Force – FATF - was created by the G7 in 1989), the notion of 'transnational organized crime' itself appeared officially for the first time in the 1994 Naples Summit communiqué[1]. One year later, at the Halifax Summit in 1995, the G8 leaders adopted a statement describing organized crime as a growing threat to the security of their countries, because of its impact on the integrity of financial systems, corruption, and democracy. They pledged to work to reinforce existing institutions, strengthen cooperation, exchange information and provide assistance to other nations. They went on to establish a group of senior experts on transnational crime with a temporary mandate, according to the Halifax communiqué, "to look at existing arrangements for cooperation, both bilateral and multilateral; identify significant gaps and options for improvement coordination; and propose practical action to fill such gaps"[2]. The designated experts submitted 40 recommendations at the following Summit in Lyon in 1996 and are since referred to as the 'Lyon Group'. The Lyon Group was mainly created for the purpose of establishing norms and recommendations for the G8's member states and the international community as a whole. I'll come back to this experts mandate later.

What I would like to show here is that by the time of the Denver Summit in 1997, the issue of organized crime had become routine business, so much so that, at Birmingham in 1998, organized crime was further elaborated as one of the biggest challenges for the international community. The Birmingham Summit's declaration highlights how transnational organized crime is understood by the G8: "Globalisation has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in transnational crime. This takes many forms, including trafficking in drugs and weapons; smuggling of human beings; the abuse of new technologies to steal, defraud and evade the law; and the laundering of the proceeds of crime. Such crimes pose a threat not only to our own citizens and their communities, through lives blighted by drugs and societies living in fear of organised crime; but also a global threat which can undermine the democratic and economic basis of societies through the investment of illegal money by international cartels, corruption, a weakening of institutions and a loss of confidence in the rule of law. To fight this threat, international cooperation is indispensable. We ourselves, particularly since the Lyon summit in 1996, have sought ways to improve that cooperation." [3]

This statement demonstrates that the overall development of transnational organizations worldwide, be they legal or illegal, is taken to be the result of new opportunities offered by globalisation. The recurring themes include: increasing interdependence, transportation and communication facilities, the erosion of national borders, and globalisation networks. Those narratives can be found in every international organization which has tackled the issue of TOC. So far the G8 discourse is not very original. My point here is rather to propose an explanation as to why the G8 has raised TOC as a top priority in the middle of the 90's.

Most of the explanations given in academic literature to this inclusion of TOC on the G8 agenda mainly rely on the argument that TOC, as a product of globalisation, have become a major threat and therefore International Bodies have undertaken specific actions in order to counter it. This kind of explanations adopts a rather functionalist approach that tends to present international actions as a response to a specific threat. The problem is that if you have a careful look on the very broad literature on TOC, you will probably get the idea that the issue of transnational organized crime is an object of large controversies that surround the use of this much-debated expression. You'll find for instance a type of literature that is rather more cautious with regard to the alleged threat posed by organized crime. This literature tries to show that organized crime is not a new phenomenon that emerged at the end of the Cold War, as many seem to believe. The argument that organized crime is a "new" threat, more serious than before, is seen as not very convincing. While it is almost impossible to measure with any degree of precision, officials suggest that illicit cross-border transactions are proliferating on a global scale (Friman and Andreas, 1999). There is no way to prove that there is more criminal activity than before, or to prove that the percentage of illegal profits has increased compared to legal profits (Naylor, 2002). Moreover, many argue that what some qualify as organized crime is actually disorganized crime (Reuter, 1983). Organized crime suggests an image of the "mafia", with a well established, strong and rigid hierarchy. Over the last decades various authors have challenged this mainstream interpretation of organized crime and have suggested that many old-style criminal hierarchies are reorganizing into sprawling transnational networks (or perhaps they were always) with shifting associations and alliances that depend on market dynamics. Today, most researchers agree that organized crime is not a formal corporate-like organization with networks that frequently operate in relatively confined geographic areas. Organized crime presents therefore a rather disorganized image of many fragmented, localized and fluid networks (Vassou, 2005, Bear and Naylor, 1999).

That led me to question the official statements and the narratives I have found on TOC in the G8 official communiqué. Given all the convincing literature on the topic of TOC that tends to show that even if there are various forms of trafficking all over the world, that some of them are harmful and present a real danger (I think of arms trafficking for instance, or prostitution networks and so on), it was hard for me to believe that suddenly, at the end of the 80's and during the 90's, the G8 decided to tackle the issue of TOC because it has suddenly become the new global threat.

You have plenty of academic researchers that have convincingly demonstrated that after the end of the Cold War, many states redirected their energies from fighting communism to fighting transnational crime. And if many authors' explanations turn to the end of the Cold War and the age of globalisation as to why transnational organized crime became a new threat, you can expose differently the problem and consider that at the end of the Cold War, it's not the objective sources of the threat that have increased, but rather the perceptions of the stakes that have changed, allowing new sectors to be tackled. The question arises as to the extent to which that objective reality has really changed (with the emergence of new threats) or if it is merely the interpretations that have changed. And because when it comes to reliable sources of knowledge the concept of organized crime hardly resists, the second assumption appears to me more compelling.

Concerning the G8 specifically, one of the explanation as to why G8 members state have decided to put TOC on their agenda may be that at this specific time (the end of the 80's and the beginning of the 90's), the G8 as an institution encountered some difficulties with growing questions and concerns about its legitimacy and the ambivalence of its economic role on the international stage after the end of the cold war. TOC might have come as a political opportunity to redirect the G8 raison d'être. Another explanation might be the political will of the US to internationalize their war on drugs at the end of the 80's. Some very interesting researches have been made, notably by Ethan Nadelmann or Michael Woodiwiss, on the pressure the US have put on international negotiations in order to globalize their fight and to enhance international cooperation in the field of TOC. Those are explanation I propose, I don't intend to give a definitive answer. What is important is that putting TOC on an international agenda is not only a reaction to an objective threat, and that other factors are to be taken into account. Many studies have done the same on the EU or on the UN. For most of the major International Bodies, the end of the cold war have led to a redefinition of their mandate and raison d'être.

The creation of a specific G8 experts group on the issue of TOC is a part of the movement. The set up of a G8 expertise in this area was certainly a way of promoting a kind of G8 added value on the international stage, and specifically on security issues.

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2. The nature of the G8's expertise against transnational organized crime

Since the beginning of the 1990's, transnational organized crime has been an issue discussed at every level of the "G8 system". By "G8 system", I refer to all the structures within the G8 member states that are involved in the elaboration of G8 norms. When I say G8 norms, I refer to the recommendations and measures adopted at the G8 level, and that can be assimilated as norms in a rather constructivist perspective, that is a "a collective expectation of the proper behaviour of actors with a given identity". On that matter, it is important to underline that the G8's official statement made at the end of each Summit only shows the top of this "G8 system" iceberg, which involves a wide range of actors, from leaders to ministers, from delegates to designated "experts". This system has the ability to set G8 norms and to diffuse them at the international level.

A first distinction must be made between G8 experts and G8 political actors. If ministerial meetings and Summits give voice to G8 ministers and G8 leaders, thus establishing a "G8 voice" on the international stage, it is G8 experts who forge and frame these political discourses. From what I have learned from my interviews and the internal documentation I obtained, the analysis of G8 expertise shows rather a bottom-up process (from experts to ministerial and heads of states) than a Top-Down approach (from Heads of States to ministerial levels and experts level).

Between the creation of the Lyon Group in 1995 and until 2001, the Lyon Group mainly gathered officials form Justice, Interior and Foreign Affairs G8 Members State departments. This repartition will change after 2001, as I'll explain later on.

The Lyon Group works at the international level, and its meetings organized three times a year by the country that hosts the Summit. The experts' discussions and their work are then taken up to the G8 Justice and Interior Ministers' meetings which usually take place once a year. The Lyon Group also reports back to the Heads of State and Governments' personal representatives, known as the sherpas, who finally decide, along with their leaders, what is going to be included in the final Summit Communiqué. As I mentioned earlier, the Lyon Group experts are often quoted in these ministerial meetings and summits official communiqués, but information as to who these experts are, how they work together and how they define common strategies with regard to transnational organized crime is not provided. Interviews with some of these designated experts have therefore been very useful in order to understand their role and their shared practices.

A focus on these experts is now needed in order to understand the G8's mobilisation against transnational organized crime. One of the most prevalent perspectives used in International Relations to understand international expertise and its influence on political decisions is the perspective focusing on epistemic communities.

Epistemic community are usually defined as "a network of professionals with recognized expertise and competence in a particular domain and an authoritative claim to policy-relevant knowledge within that domain or issue-area". (Haas, 1992, p.3). According to the approach developed by IR scholars, "members of transnational epistemic communities can influence state interests either by directly identifying them for decision makers or by illuminating the salient dimensions of an issue from which the decision makers may then deduce their interests." (Haas, 1992, p.4).

This approach seems to confirm what has earlier been argued: G8 experts inform their hierarchies and help them define the scope of actions needed to enhance mobilisation and cooperation against organized crime.

Nevertheless, this understanding of epistemic communities remains silent on the effect of legitimization that such an expertise might provide for the political actors and does not question how discourses adopted by these communities are shaped, nor does he question the actors who produce these discourses. The concept of "epistemic community" may therefore be compelling, but it gives a false image of homogeneity and ignores the complexities of the individuals involved in such a community.

A sociological approach is therefore useful to fill such gaps. Such a perspective is all the more insightful that it provides the tools to clearly understand the G8 expertise in the field of transnational organized crime. Interviews with some of the Lyon Group experts have indeed allowed me to not consider such actors as anonymous individuals and to draw a sociological picture of them. Following Pierre Bourdieu's concept of habitus, the aim of this sociological approach is to underline the set of acquired patterns of thoughts, behaviour, and taste, which constitutes the link between social structures and social practices (Bourdieu, 1977). An analysis of the actors themselves, of their identity, of their professional and personal backgrounds, thus helps understand their collective practices and the symbolic authority gained on the political actors. Adopting such a theoretical framework adds a new dimension to the concept of expertise. Experts are not only providers of technical information; they also have the power to shape the understanding of and to constitute the beliefs on specific topics. The norms they are producing are therefore never neutral and reflect these beliefs.

Throughout our interviews with some of these G8 experts, I identified two main elements that help understand how they can mobilise and coordinate themselves: first, all G8 experts share a similar background. Second, the Lyon Group creates a sense of membership that facilitates a collective mobilisation.

First, all the designated senior experts in the Lyon Group are civil servants from the G8 countries' bureaucracies and share a common professional and personal background. As mentioned, the Lyon Group gathers members of the G8 countries' ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice Departments and Law enforcement services.

They all have in common a strong international background and/or international negotiations experience. Among them, some have been active in many international negotiations processes, in the G8, in the United Nations (UN), the Organization for European Co-operation and Development (OECD) or the European Union (EU). All of them are clearly international relations oriented.

Even if some of them do not have a specific background in organized crime issues, all of them gain the status of "experts" from their participation to the Lyon Group. These civil servants working in the G8 can be seen as "crime technicians", sometimes by accident (because they were occupying specific posts in their administrations, which got them invited to such meetings), sometimes because their hierarchy recognises them specific skills.

These "crime technicians" obviously share the same understanding of the threat posed by transnational organized crime. Throughout our interviews, it was clear that the actors involved in the Lyon Group do not bother to question the nature of such a threat. The role of these actors is neither to question the legitimacy of discourses on the scope of the alleged threat nor to intervene in current debates on the efficiency of international tools against organized crime. On the contrary, their role involves no more than working together on the possibilities of international cooperation in a very pragmatic way; it aims only at enhancing collaboration and thus focuses on legal and law enforcement instruments. A collective belief strongly emerges from the interviews conducted: the growing threat of organized crime calls for a closer international cooperation.

Even if divergences may occur during the negotiation process, this rather narrow approach favours consensus. Such a consensus is highly facilitated by the fact that these G8 experts share a sense of membership that facilitates a collective mobilisation. Most of the interviewees have underlined the pleasure they were taking in participating to the Lyon Group's meetings: the degree of informality in the discussion, the mutual sharing of understanding, the self-consciousness of belonging to a group of exception. According to some of the actors involved in the G8's system we have met, the G8 brings remarkable added value in the setting of international norms and most of the actors did not hide they felt proud to be members of such an exceptional Group. One of them even referred to the Lyon Group experts as "top class international experts". Some experts of the Lyon Group assimilate their meetings to a genuine "laboratory of ideas" and an "influent states coordination arena". This underlines the high degree of informality and confidentiality the G8's framework confers, allowing them to speak freely and frankly without public scrutiny and bureaucratic constraints. Many of them insist on the high level of expertise of the actors involved, and on the importance of the exchange of ideas among some of the most influential countries that the G8 allows to gather in an original way. Most of them see the G8 as the only arena where free discussions between Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Russians and Japanese partners take place in an efficient way.

These similarities among the Lyon Group's actors (similar experience, similar background, similar sharing of understanding on the issue at stake) certainly create a collective identity and a collective mobilization.

The actors of the Lyon Group meet three times a year. Their meetings usually last two or three days and are organized around subgroups. Since 1995, four main subgroups have been active:

Each subgroup gathers approximately thirty delegates, usually two or three per member state. These subgroups interact a lot during the meetings and they each present their work during plenary sessions.

With regards to the nature of the G8 measures against TOC, the only available public documents we have are the recommendations issued by the Lyon Group in 1996 and in 2002. The first document is rather short, but covers all the legal and policing issues: mutual legal assistance, assistance arrangements, information exchange, extradition, protection of victims, improvement in domestic legislation, support to other international organisations, assets seizures procedures, rules against corruption. After 9/11, the experts were asked to revise their recommendations. The essence of the first recommendations has been kept, but the second version is far more prolific, both in quantity and in details. The recommendations aim at enhancing international cooperation (through education and exchanges, mutual legal assistance and law enforcement channels, extradition), and strengthening investigative capabilities (through the promotion of specific investigative techniques, the protection and cooperation of witnesses and other participants in criminal proceedings).

As underlined earlier, the G8 experts work together on the possibilities of international cooperation in a very pragmatic way, which explains the strong focus on legal and law enforcement instruments adopted in their recommendations. Generally speaking, the Lyon Group tries to promote operational tools in order to improve cooperation. The experts create a framework for action. The group's members carry out the international coordination while giving information and advice needed to political actors. Because they are seen as "experts", their views and recommendations are taken for granted most of the time by the Ministers and their leaders who usually don't have the skills or the willingness to question them. Thus their knowledge is not much debated, and they shape most of the discussions and forge a common "G8" approach to transnational organized crime issues. The Lyon Group can be considered as a "norms entrepreneur", as its role is critical for norm emergence. Accepted and diffused within the "G8 system" as a whole, the Lyon Group recommendations are also meant to be diffused worldwide.

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3. The influence of the G8's expertise

At the beginning, in 1995, the Lyon Group's work was meant to be practical and operational and to complement the work of other international arenas. The mandate the experts were explicitly stated at the Halifax Summit as I have mentioned earlier. The work led by these actors is therefore clearly meant to be complementary to what is carried out elsewhere, in other International Organizations such as the UN, the FATF, the OECD and the EU. Evaluations of other International Organizations' activities are made within the Lyon Group; satisfactory evaluation or gaps are identified; the Lyon Group then decides collectively if further work is needed or not. This strategy explains why the Lyon Group has not focused on drug trafficking issues, as the UN's work was deemed sufficient, or on money laundering issues, where the FATF was recognized as the international reference. This explains also why the Lyon Group has focused, among others, on high-tech crimes, migration issues or judicial and law enforcement harmonization matters in general. This strategy is sometimes rather ambiguous, as the Lyon Group has, at times, gone beyond its complementary role and played a role of impulsion and framing in other international arenas.

So how does this impulsion work?

Two main arguments must be highlighted to demonstrate how the G8's norms are diffused worldwide: firstly, the Lyon Group constitutes an exceptional platform of communication. Secondly, norms labellized as G8 norms have a strong weight in international negotiation processes.

The circulation of G8 norms is highly facilitated by the fact that this arena constitutes an exceptional platform of communication. Three EU countries, one influential Asian country, North America countries and Russia are all equally represented within the G8. Moreover, although the involvement of the EU Commission is often forgotten, the Commission has been de facto the ninth member of the institution since the very beginning, in 1977. Regarding the issue of transnational organized crime, EU Commission observers participate at every level described in this presentation, G8 experts and working groups and ministerial delegations. Some of the EU observers we have met largely recognize the central role the G8 plays in its capacity impulsing what is done within the EU and in including countries such as Russia, Japan and most importantly the US into international coordination.

Moreover, most of the G8 experts are involved in similar working groups within the UN, EU or OECD. This mobility, from one working group to the other, across national boundaries and international bodies, is part of the explanation as to why the fight against transnational organized crime seems to be so consensual on the international stage. G8 experts meet three times a year within the G8 system; some of them gather again within EU delegations, for those who are also members of the EU, in OECD delegations or UN delegations. Throughout our interviews, it was clearly demonstrated that this community of experts dealing with organized crime, was indeed a small world, and that most of these experts know each other very well, since they meet a couple of times a year at international meetings. The multiplication of international meetings favours interactions, and gives roots to a horizontal negotiations space that allows its participants to socialize beyond national bureaucracies. This mobility gives birth to transnationalized public actors. It has certainly allowed the constitution of an international network of experts; such a network facilitates the sharing of understandings of, harmonized approaches to and common perceptions of the appropriate tools to fight organized crime.

Second, the G8 can be seen as a community of actors, which is able to have a strategic influence and have the financial capacities to meet its commitments. As Sikkink and Finnemore argue, norms held by states widely viewed as successful and desirable models are likely to become prominent and diffused (Sikkink and Finnemore, 1998, p.905). The G8 represents a dominant group that has pertinent information and a high level of expertise. It tries to define the "best way" of acting on the international stage. This consensus creates a constraint that is able to modify state behaviour.

Therefore, G8 recommendations are conceived as ready-to-use guidelines, and are not only meant to improve cooperation among the members, but also to have a global reach. The G8 clearly supports other international institutions, as many specific provisions in the recommendations show. Generally speaking, the G8 tries to improve multilateral agreements. This impulse is not only a principle, as the G8 does try to dictate goals. The example of the 2000 United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime is here very instructive.

This Convention has been an important step towards multilateral action in this field. The Convention is the first global tool in the international fight against organized crime. Several aspects must be highlighted in order to understand how the G8 has framed the Convention.

The Western countries were first reluctant to agree to this convention. Paradoxically, it is the G8 that called for it in 1996. This shows that the G8 wants to be the one that stimulates directions and guidelines. The preparatory process of the Convention has been tightly framed by the G8. Provisions of the Convention and its three supplementing Protocols[4] have been discussed in the Lyon Group's Ad Hoc Subgroup on the UN Convention. The G8 wanted to guide the negotiations. Thus, it is not very surprising to find many of the Lyon Group recommendations in the UN convention, as the Lyon Group has been a catalyst for negotiation of this Convention.

Similar normative impulses can also be found in the European Union and in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The recommendations of the European Union Action Plan to counter the threat of transnational organized crime were modelled on the Lyon Group recommendations. This cooperative behaviour at the transnational level is no secret, as declared in the revised G8 recommendations : "We will work together in the governing bodies of International Organizations whenever possible, in order to give more coherent impetus and coordination to the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism"[5].

From 1995 until 2001, the Lyon Group has been very active in promoting tools and measures in the international fight against transnational organized crime. The 40 recommendations have been quite successful, and the Lyon group mobilisation at the margin of the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime has been fruitful.

Of course, all these aspects raise the problem of transparency, accountability and legitimacy of the G8 in general and the Lyon Group in particular. I may sound a bit provocative, but the case of the Lyon group is pretty interesting on this regard, as it work almost as a clandestine experts group, with no publicity, and in total secrecy. Of course, one of the most common argument put forward by the experts I met in order to justify this absence of transparency was that they had to keep secret their work in order to be more efficient to fight crime. That is to say not to disclose their strategies and catch the criminals by surprise. This argument is of course understandable. What is more disturbing is that in recent years, the G8 has publicized some specific recommendations that are demonstrating a more and more proactive and preventive strategies that raise questions in regards to the protection of civil liberties and democracy at large. This is particularly true in the post 9/11 context, as I will now explain.

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4. The G8 expertise after 9/11

Before 9/11, the G8 expertise on TOC and the G8 expertise on counter-terrorism were totally independent. In the fight against terrorism, the G8 countries set up an experts Group in the 80's, named the Roma Group. The role of this Group until 2001 is difficult to analyse, as we have no documents providing information concerning its nature and its activities. Nevertheless, on September 19, 2001, the G8 issued a declaration that advocated the fusion of the Lyon Group and the Roma Group. Since 2002, the Lyon Group and the Roma group have been merged and are referred to as the Lyon/Roma Group. This fusion has had specific consequences.

First, the merging of the Lyon Group and the Roma Group into a single structure has led to a reformatting of what used to be the Lyon Group. What can be drawn from my own research is that the Lyon Group has been very active since 1995 in the fight against TOC, and as mentioned was divided into 4 main subgroups: one devoted to Police cooperation, one to judicial cooperation, one to High Tech Crimes and one to Migrations issues. The new Lyon/Roma Group established in 2001 kept the same structure, but a fifth subgroup was added which mainly gathers G8 Intelligence services officials, known as the Law enforcement practitioners subgroup.

Secondly, this new structure also lead to considerable changes in the socio-professional repartition of the expertise provided. We had access to a rather confidential list of all the Lyon/Roma Group delegates in 2005 during the UK presidency, and it was clear from the document that the Interior, Police and Intelligence services officials represented more than 70% of all the delegations. From what we have learned throughout our interviews with some of these experts, before 9/11 there was a kind of equilibrium in number between the officials coming from Justice, Foreign Affairs and Law Enforcement services and agencies.

Thirdly, the setting-up of this new structure is certainly a part of the explanation as to why terrorism has become the first priority of the Lyon/Roma Group and has become the major axis of all the subgroups. It also provides an explanation as to why more preventive and proactive-oriented strategies, specifically concerning law enforcement techniques, have been adopted by the Group after 9/11.

These strategies are constantly relayed, and therefore publicized, in the official declaration issued at each of the G8 Justice and Interior Ministers' meeting that integrate the main results of the Lyon/Roma Group activities.

Since 2002, each of these declarations have focused on "best practices" concerning the development of biometrics and their use in travel documents[6], the enhancement of special techniques of investigation, the sharing of information and databases, including DNA information, and the fight against terrorist financing. Moreover, under the US chair of the G8 in 2004, the G8 elaborated recommendations to shield asylum seeking procedures from abuses by persons involved in terrorist activities.

As mentioned before, the G8's norms are meant to be spread worldwide. The support intended to be given to other international bodies by the G8 expertise is no secret. What is more confidential is how and when this discreet influence of the G8 experts is provided. A few examples can be given in order to illustrate this point.

The first example shows the regulation role the G8 system played in the fight against terrorist financing. Even though the FATF, which is now recognized as the global institution on this issue, has gained independence since its creation by the G7 in 1989, the G8 has constantly promoted specific recommendations in the FATF orientations. The Lyon/Roma Group works closely with the FATF and intends to offer an additional expertise, with a specific focus on police and judicial aspects. In their 40 recommendations issued in 2002, the experts presented specific recommendations on terrorist financing, that were clearly taken into account into the FATF work.

The second example shows the driving role that the Lyon/Roma Group played in the spread of professional norms. In 2003 for instance, the Lyon/Roma Group worked closely with the International Civil Aviation Organisation. This collaboration led to an official statement entitled "G8 Roma and Lyon Groups statement for ICAO on Biometric Application for International Travel". Similar collaborations were undertaken with the International Maritime Organisation concerning the safety of containers in Sea Ports. "Good practices" were also issued in the field of cyberterrorism on the Tracing of Networked Communications Across National Borders in Terrorist and Criminal Investigation, and in the field of special Investigative techniques, notably on the exchanges of information and evidences.

Finally, a third example shows the coordination role the G8 played in the fight against terrorism. In 2003, the G8 created the Counter Terrorism Action Group (CTAG), whose aim was to provide technical assistance to third countries (mainly south countries) for the fight against terrorism. This international body gathers G8, UN and EU experts, and more recently officials from Spain, Switzerland, and Australia.

Those examples illustrate the fact that the G8 has been active in framing the global fight against terrorism. Of course, it does not mean that the G8 has had a decisive role, but it rather show how complex and challenging it is to map the international bodies involved in the fight against terrorism and trace the genesis of these international norms, as the modalities of mutual influences are numerous and multiple.

To conclude, I would like to come back to the problem of legitimacy and transparency. As I found out in my research, the G8 structure may offer many advantages compared to other international institutions in order to enhance cooperation: informality, flexibility, and moreover the political, financial and symbolic capacities to impulse and impose norms on the international stage. Nevertheless, some aspects should be underlined concerning the G8's role in the international fight against organized crime and more recently terrorism. In particular, the so-called expertise of the Lyon Group should be questioned. As mentioned above, the Lyon Group's experts deliver a specific view of what organized crime is and which of its components must be given higher priority. Therefore, it seems that the Lyon Group shines light on some things and leaves others in the dark. For instance, at the beginning of the Lyon Group's work, the need for dealing with environmental crimes was considered. In 1998 the United Kingdom delegates proposed a project to assess the role of organized crime in three types of environmental crimes: hazardous wastes, CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and endangered species. This project has never been seriously followed through. Even if environmental crime is mentioned in the experts' revised recommendations in 2002, no significant changes have been made.

Many things could be said regarding the 2000 UN Convention and its Protocols I have mentioned. The incorporation of some of the G8 recommendations in the Convention, has been highly criticised by the G77 countries who perceived the G8 as not representative of the international community. For instance, the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, has been perceived by many developing countries as a way to criminalize migration, in particular economic migration.

In more recent years, the more and more proactive and preventive strategies advocated by the G8 in the fight against terrorism – including as I have mentioned the expansion of database with DNA information, a specific focus on asylum seekers – create many well-known and legitimate concerns regarding the respect of civil liberties and human rights in general.

Of course the G8 is not alone in this trend: one could find equivalent controversial measures in the EU for instance where debates are strong concerning all these delicate questions. The main problem with the G8 is precisely there. At least within the EU you do have a debate, and moreover the possibility of a parliament control. This is not the case within the G8. Of course, you could argue that G8 measures do not create a legal constraint, which is not the case for EU measures on their member States. But given what I have tried to demonstrate in this presentation, that the G8 measures do have an impact on the international stage, what are the possibilities and the space for counterbalances?

I will end this presentation with one of the most recent development of the G8 strategies in the fight against terrorism, which, according to me, reflect the dangers of such absence of democratic debates.

In the last declaration of the G8 Interior and Justice Ministers meeting held in Munich last May, a strong focus has been put on what has become the new issue at stake since the London attacks in 2005, the famous "Home grown Terrorist". The declaration states: "We have agreed to expand our knowledge and experience of those processes by which some residents of our countries become radical and violent, culminating in what is known as "home-grown terrorism". We have also addressed the issue of dialogue with relevant communities in our countries and agreed to mandate national experts to share experiences in this field". Later in the declaration, the ministers declare: "Where integration is unsuccessful, migration becomes a problem for the cohesiveness and internal security of the host societies". As far as I learned from my interviews, this focus on Home grown terrorists has been one of the major concerns of the Lyon/Roam Group for these last 2 years. The rise of a new object of fear, the "Home Grown Terrorist" confirms and reinforces an insidious trend towards processes of identification in order to detect potential terrorist, logics of suspicion extended not only to migrants but also to citizens from an immigrant background. This leads to the opening of numerous and highly problematic questions that are raised in the name of the fight against terrorism, such as immigration and integration in democracies, with all the consequences you may easily imagine: more and more stigmatization of minorities, suspicion regarding specific forms or religious or political practices, and so on.

It is therefore not very surprising that the G8 is one of the most criticised institutions in the world, as its decisions which have an impact at the international level, can be seen as solely the reflection of the interests of its members. These important aspects question the very nature of global governance and its legitimacy.

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Notes

[1] All the communiqués since 1975 are available on the G8 Information Centre website.
[2] Chairman's Statement, Halifax Summit, June 17, 1995.
[3] Birmingham Summit Official declaration, Saturday, May 16, 1998.
[4] Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children; Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air ; and the Protocol for the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms.
[5] G8 recommendations on Transnational Organized Crime, 2002.
[6] Meeting of G8 Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs, Paris, May 5, 2003.

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