FIDUCIA – New European Crimes and Trust-based Policy

Short Title


Full Title

FIDUCIA – New European Crimes and Trust-based Policy

Brief Description

The FIDUCIA concept stems from the idea that public trust (in latin, "fiducia") in justice is critically important for social regulation, in that it leads to public acceptance of the legitimacy of institutions of justice and thus compliance with the law. The project will investigate whether a change of direction in criminal policy – from deterrence strategies and penal populism to procedural justice and trust-based policy – is desirable, and in what terms.

Research Period


Research Type

Consortial international partners

Research Monitoring Body

The External Expert Group of the project and the European Commission

Project Supervisor

Stefano Maffei, University of Parma

Project Manager

Zsolt Boda


Attila Bartha, Gergő Medve-Bálint, Gabriella Szabó

External Researchers

Zsuzsanna Vidra             



Zsolt Boda (

Institutional Partner

University of Parma, Birkbeck College – University of London, Center for European Policy Studies (Belgium), Center for the Study of Democracy (Bulgaria), European Public Law Organization, HEUNI (Finland), London School of Economics and Political Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, TEISE (Lithuania), University of Oxford, Ankara Strategy Institute, University of Salamanca.


EU FP7 project

Research Summary

The FIDUCIA project will shed light on a number of distinctively "new European” criminal acts that have emerged in the last decade as a consequence of technological developments and the increased mobility of populations across Europe.
The objective of the project is to develop policy responses to “new” forms of deviant behaviours that are also highly relevant to responding to “conventional” forms of criminality. While traditional research is primarily concerned on “why people break the law”, the focus in FIDUCIA is on “why people obey to the law”. The FIDUCIA consortium will conduct four case studies of new forms of criminality that reflect – in various ways – the development of supra-national structures and processes across Europe. The four crime categories are: a) trafficking of human beings; b) trafficking of goods; c) the criminalisation of migration and ethnic minorities; and d) cyber-crimes. In addition, FIDUCIA will examine questions of criminalisation; assess the importance of public trust in justice and beliefs about the legitimacy of their own criminal justice system; and explore whether trust-based regulation makes sense at a supra-national level. The findings will inform an innovative model of “trust-based” policy with a raft of far-reaching recommendations for politicians and law-makers in Member States and the institutions of the European Union.