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The Mediterranean Sea represents the meeting point of different populations and cultures that, thanks to an undisputed freedom of movement, have allowed the social and economic advancement of the area. However, due to recent events - such as the dramatic succession of episodes of human trafficking or acts of terrorism - political and legal approaches have been affected by a greater protection towards the increasingly insistent demands of "Security". 

In this context, the Centre of Excellence "Europe between Mobility and Security: the challenges of illicit trades in the Mediterranean Area" intends to set up a sort of think tank, based in the University of Palermo, a privileged point of view on the Mediterranean Sea, through the collaboration and support of an international academic network and the support of local organizations and institutions. The main task is to investigate the interactions between freedom of movement and security issues, according to a multidisciplinary approach divided into three research areas: a) trafficking in human beings; b) drug trafficking; c) trafficking in cultural goods. 

In particular, the Centre of Excellence pursues three main objectives: 

  1. to deeper analyse the social impact of the abovementioned illicit trades (e.g. drugs abuse, exploitations of human beings) and the opportunities that can arise from a good implementation of the law (e.g. cultural heritage as a social driver);
  2. to create an academic debate between leading international scholars in order to give a relevant contribution to the development of shared European policies in the field of Mobility, Security and illegal trade;
  3. to encourage the specialization of Professional legal curricula through teaching activities. This goal will be reached thanks, on one hand, to the coordination of 9 conferences that will take place throughout Europe, aimed at fostering the awareness of scholars and practitioners, and, on the other, to the establishment of a new major course at the University of Palermo that will be addressed to students in the field of Law, Criminology and European Studies.