International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking: more action needed to fight illicit drugs

On the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas said: “Drug trafficking is still the largest criminal market in the EU; organised crime groups remained active during the pandemic, quickly adapting their drugs operations to the new situation.

This comes at a cost to our societies, with significant impacts on public health and on security. We are determined to fight them with all means at our disposal”.

Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson added: “The route from drug producer, to distributer, to user, and indeed to money launderer, is becoming ever more sophisticated, more circuitous and more profitable.

In recent years, illicit drugs have increased in availability, with technology enabling online trade, postal dispatch, and hidden profits throughout the EU. Modern organised crime needs a modern organised response.

We will soon present a robust and ambitious EU action on tackling drug smugglers, improving prevention strategies and targeting those who profit from others’ addiction.” The Commission will take part in a special event of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs starting at 2 pm today, and focusing on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world drug situation.

A report issued last month by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and EUROPOL on the impact of the coronavirus on EU drug markets showed that organised crime groups continued their activities during the pandemic, and adapted transportation models, trafficking routes and concealment methods.

As part of its Strategy towards building a Security Union, the Commission will present later this year a new EU Drugs Agenda setting out the political framework and priority actions for the next five years.

Adalbert Jahnz – Ciara Bottomley –