The drug market is becoming increasingly complex. What we elsewhere may count as indicators of progress, also have effects on the drug ravage – globalisation, internet and innovation affect and contribute to development and more flexibility. Locally produced is also a new trend. This is indicated by a common report prepared by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Europol, and presented today together with me. These two agencies that I, as a Commissioner, am responsible for, have joined forces and combined information about drugs in Europe with the police’s knowledge about organised crime. Through this cooperation, a unique report has been prepared, providing an important picture and analysis of the drug market – from production to addiction.
Europe stands out as a global player when it comes to knowledge and development of new synthetic drugs and efficient cannabis cultivation. At the same time as the globalisation has brought new smuggling routes and an increasing number of transit- and production countries, one of the strong trends is locally produced, where the manufacturing takes place closer to the consumers. The latest is mobile drug factories in barrows transported by cars (see image).
The report shows a rapidly changing and dynamic type of organised crime. The developments described in the report indicate that we need new ways of working, that national efforts are insufficient. We need the European cooperation to effectively combat organised crime together. Together with Europol, we need to launch more joint investigations and cross-border crackdowns. National police authorities also need to improve the identification of the real drug magnates – the criminals and the networks being at the top of the food chain. Additionally, we need to create systems within the EU enabling the authorities to give cross-border early warnings to each other about new dangerous substances on the market.