On April 6th, the EMCDDA and Europol presented in Brussels the new 2016 EU Drug Markets Report. The report, presented by EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel, provides a state-of-the-art analysis of the EU illicit drug market, covering the trends along the supply chain from production and trafficking to marketing, distribution and consumption. It also analyses the considerable costs of these markets for society including their impact on businesses, government institutions, neighbourhoods, families, individuals and the environment.
For the first time since its launch, the report provides an estimate of the size of the illicit drug market in the EU: this is worth at least EUR 24 billion per annum (range: EUR 21 to 31 billion). Moreover, it shows that the market share for each of the main drugs being used in Europe is as follows: 38 % for cannabis (9.3 billion €), 28 % for heroin (6.8 billion €), 24 % for cocaine (5.7 billion €), 8 % for amphetamine and methamphetamine (1.8 billion €) and 3 % (0.7 billion €) for ecstasy/MDMA, respectively.
The report also analyses the influential role the internet plays in the drugs business, providing both sales outlets and opportunities to shorten the supply chain, creating new consumer markets and reducing opportunities for law enforcement interventions.
During the presentation of the report, Europol Director Rob Wainwright, declared as illicit drug production and trafficking grow more complex and become entwined with other forms of crime, and even terrorism, it represents a key threat to the internal security of the EU. In this regard, the report also describes how coordinated action at EU level can make a difference in tackling the illicit drugs trade and outlines a comprehensive range of recommendations and action points in areas to inform future policies and initiatives.