Source Countries and
Drug Transit Zones: Europe
According to the Eurobarometer survey in 2006, 68 % of European
citizens do not agree that personal consumption of cannabis
should be legalized throughout Europe.
Seizures of cocaine in Europe are increasing. In 2005, an estimated
70,000 seizures of cocaine, amounting to 107 tons, were made
Surveys have found that some European countries have seen a
marked increase in cocaine use among young people since the
An estimated 52,000 seizures resulted in the interception of
about 16.8 tons of heroin in the EU Member States and candidate
countries and Norway in 2005.
Europe and the European Union are important allies in combating the threat
of global illicit drug production and trafficking. The U.S. works closely with
the European Union and its organizations to share drug policy information and
counter drug trafficking. The U.S. also cooperates bilaterally with EU countries
such as the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, and Sweden on a number
of international drug priorities from increased heroin trafficking in Afghanistan
to increasing cocaine transiting through West Africa to Europe.
In Europe, cannabis remains the most prevalent illicit drug of abuse. According
to the Eurobarometer survey in 2006, 68% of European citizens questioned did
not agree that personal consumption of cannabis should be legalized throughout
Europe. EU surveys also indicate an increase in cocaine use among young people
since the mid-1990s, with an overall prevalence of 3.7% of the total adult
population (15-64 years). This translates into at least 12 million Europeans
who have used this drug at least once in their lifetime. Lifetime use of cocaine
is reported by more than 5% of the total adult population (15-64 years) in
three countries: Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
Most seizures of cocaine continue to be reported in western European countries,
especially Spain, which accounts for about half the seizures and amounts of
cocaine intercepted in Europe, followed by Portugal and the Netherlands. To
counter the increase of cocaine coming to Europe, 7 European countries (France,
Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom) determined
in 2004 to mobilize their resources to fight illegal maritime drug trafficking
in the Eastern Atlantic. The Maritime Analysis and Operations Center-Narcotics
(MAOC) commenced its operations in April 2007 in Lisbon Portugal.
Domestic drug policy in many Western European nations continues to focus on
the social welfare aspect of drug use, with a reduced focus on law enforcement.
The U.S. is working with its partners to encourage balanced strategies that
focus on prevention, treatment, and enforcement, in order to achieve the drug
use reduction goals of the 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS).
Control Strategy Report. U.S. State Department, Bureau for International
Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, March 2008.
I-ADAM in Eight Countries:
Approaches and Challenges (PDF), National Institute of Justice, Bruce
Taylor, May 2002. This publication is a progress report on the implementation
of the International Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (I-ADAM) program in eight
countries and on the challenges they faced.
European Monitoring Center for Drugs
and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
EMCDDA was set up in response to the escalating drug problem in Europe and
to demands for an accurate picture of the phenomenon throughout the European
Union. EMCDDA releases an annual report each year reporting on data received
from member states national focal points.
Europol. Europol is the European Law Enforcement Organization which aims at
improving the effectiveness and co-operation of the competent authorities in
the Member States in preventing and combating terrorism, unlawful drug trafficking
and other serious forms of international organized crime. http://www.europol.europa.eu/
Eurobarometer. Since 1973, the European Commission has been monitoring the
evolution of public opinion in the Member States, thus helping the preparation
of texts, decision-making and the evaluation of its work. Surveys and studies
address major topics concerning European citizenship: enlargement, social situation,
health, culture, information technology, environment, the Euro, defense, etc. http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/index_en.htm