Brussels, 10 May 2011
Commission steps up the fight against drugs
At the G8 ministerial meeting in Paris today, the Commission called for strengthened cooperation in the fight against drugs and presented new initiatives to combat this modern plague. While fighting drugs remains one of the EU security priorities, only a global and integrated approach can deliver lasting results for all.
"Every month 1.5 million Europeans consume cocaine. Around 140 tonnes of cocaine are consumed each year in the EU. At an average retail price of €50 per gram, this creates an illicit market roughly worth €550 million a month. In the global scale, the drugs syndicates have influenced states and even entire regions. Disrupting international crime networks is critical and our actions can only be successful if they are coordinated at the international level" said Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, responsible for Home Affairs.
Under the umbrella of the EU Drugs Strategy 2005-2012, the Stockholm programme, and the EU Internal Security Strategy, the EU is currently developing a wide range of operational actions on all fronts of the fight against drugs. Action in this field should intensify in future, on the basis of a renewed financial framework.
With the setting up of the European border surveillance system (EUROSUR), the EU will be able to improve its border intelligence and offer added value to investigations on cross-border drug trafficking. EUROSUR will make use of new technologies, such as satellite imagery, to detect and track targets at the maritime border by, for example, tracing fast vessels transporting drugs to the EU.
The EU concretely supports various international cooperation platforms along the main trafficking routes. For example, in the Maritime Analysis and Operation Centre-Narcotics (MAOC-N), EU member states work together with, the US and several third countries to fight drugs trafficking along the cocaine route. In West Africa, through the information exchange platforms in Dakar and Accra, EU liaison officers cooperate on anti-drugs capacity building projects. These platforms are key to coordinate the efforts along trafficking routes.
The EU is stepping up prevention, detection and disruption of organised crime activities through more efficient measures ranging from financial investigation to the fight against money laundering, corruption, information exchange and the confiscation of criminal assets. In this regard, the Commission will propose, by the end of 2011, more robust EU legislation on asset recovery, to curb the financial power of drug traffickers. The Commission will also define an EU strategy for improving financial investigation.
At international level, the EU is engaged in partnerships with third countries all over the world, and is currently developing an EU-Sahel strategy to strengthen the capacities in the area of security, law enforcement and the rule of law in the fight against criminal threats.
To address this situation, the G8 endorsed an initiative that brings together some 20 countries in North and South America, Africa and Europe that are regional drivers in combating drug trafficking.
For more information
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs:
Homepage DG Home Affairs: