The Commission called for strengthened international cooperation in the fight against drugs

The European Commission presented new initiatives to fight against drugs at the G8 ministerial meeting in Paris. Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, responsible for Home Affairs highlighted how important is fighting drugs because around 140 tonnes of cocaine are consumed each year in the EU.

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. 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.

The EU is currently developing a wide range of operational actions on all fronts of the fight against drugs, under the umbrella of the EU Drugs Strategy 2005-2012 such as the Stockholm programme, and the EU Internal Security Strategy.

In addition, the EU will be able to improve its border intelligence and offer added value to investigations on cross-border drug trafficking, with the setting up of the European border surveillance system (EUROSUR). This system 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 instance, 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.

Moreover, 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 this year, 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.