Policing “hi-tech” crime within the global context
The nature of EU governance within the JHA field underwent two fundamental changes in the 1990s. First, ratification of the TEU in November 1993 formalized a relatively incoherent span of policy fora into a hierarchical and more transparent system of governance (Hayes-Renshaw and Wallace, 1997: 94; Bunyan, 1993: 28-31) but fractured by the three “pillars” – the EC treaties and intergovernmental cooperation within JHA and the Common, Foreign and Security policy field. The second, more fundamental change, informs the approach of this paper and can be characterized as a move to selective horizontal policy integration, underpinned by the informal devolution of executive responsibility to a number of key expert or “High Level” groups. This feature has been apparent from an early stage in dealing with cross-pillar drug issues
where coordinated action with the EC pillar is required.2 But the recent cohering of initiatives around the phenomenological theme of organized crime has provided the policy focus for a more fundamental change in the system of governance and distribution of power in the JHA sphere. By examining the issue of hi-tech crime, it will be seen that two key overlapping networks of state actors possessing specialist skills and expertise has been empowered within the transnational context straddling the EU and G8, creating operational and policy frameworks to counter organized crime. In addition, the EU policy community on organized crime is playing a broader role in entrenching a policy acquis to those countries in Europe who are aspirant members of the EU (Norman, 1999). The EU and G8 policy communities are acting together in a way that suggests the development of a transnational network of actors concerned with coordinating an effective response to serious and international crime at the global level, working through international organizations at the policy and operational level.