The EC adopts a new EU Roadmap to fight organised crime and drug-trafficking
Criminal activities associated with drug trafficking and organised crime pose significant challenges to society. These activities lead to increased violence, instability, and the erosion of safety and security within communities. Moreover, criminal networks dealing with drug trafficking infiltrate legitimate businesses through money laundering and corruption, and create toxic wastes that are frequently dispersed in the environment. Indeed, the economic incentive for drug trafficking is enormous, as evidenced by the record levels of drug seizures in the European Union, with more than 300 tonnes of cocaine seized in 2021. Criminal organizations are demonstrating a global reach and operational effectiveness that results in increased violence on the streets and harm to innocent individuals. The consequences include drug-related deaths and violence, further emphasising the need for a robust response.
In this context, the European Commission has proposed an ambitious plan known as the EU Roadmap to fight drug trafficking and organised crime. This roadmap outlines 17 targeted and concrete actions to enhance the resilience of logistic hubs, dismantle criminal networks, increase prevention efforts, and strengthen international cooperation. The EU Roadmap builds on actions set out in the EU Strategy to tackle Organised Crime 2021-2025 and the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2025, and seeks to address the consequences of organised crime on communities and economies.
The EU Roadmap is structured around four priority areas, each aimed at addressing a specific aspect of the challenge caused by drug trafficking and organised crime:
- A new European Ports Alliance has been established with the aim of enhancing the resilience of ports against criminal infiltration by reinforcing the collaborative efforts of customs authorities, law enforcement agencies, and both public and private stakeholders operating throughout the European Union.
- Dismantling high-risk criminal networks by facilitating financial and digital investigations, identifying major criminal networks, enhancing cooperation among specialised prosecutors and judges, and leveraging the The Schengen Informaton System (SIS)
- Measures to prevent organised crime through the exchange of best practices and guidance among EU Member States to guard against the infiltration of criminal groups into society and the legal economy. The goal is also to prevent these criminal organizations from recruiting young individuals, thereby improving public safety and health.
- International collaboration is a key component of the initiative, involving partnerships with other countries to combat global threats. This entails reinforcing the exchange of information, conducting joint operations on major drug trafficking routes, and strengthening law enforcement and judicial cooperation with non-EU nations.
The EU Roadmap is a comprehensive and proactive strategy aimed at addressing the pervasive issue of drug trafficking and organised crime. By enhancing the resilience of logistic hubs, dismantling criminal networks, strengthening prevention efforts, and fostering international cooperation, the European Union is taking concrete steps to counter this multifaceted threat. This approach recognizes the profound impact of organised crime on communities and economies and underscores the importance of a collective, coordinated response from governments, law enforcement, and private actors across sectors to ensure the safety, security, and prosperity of the European Union.
This EU Roadmap is relevant for the works of EMERITUS due both to the close correlation between drug production and related waste disposal, and to the synergies that exist among different lines of business of the criminal networks that perpetrate such crimes. In this regard, EMERITUS is currently investing in creating operative synergies with projects focused on drug dealing and other organised crime forms. Stay tuned for more information to be soon unveiled on this regard!
You can download the official factsheet here and get all the information about the EU Roadmap.