From the Cocaine Route Programme and the Heroin Route Programme to the Global Illicit Flows Programme of the European Union

For more than ten years, the Cocaine and Heroin Route Programmes of the European Union have strived to address the challenges of an often-fragmented law enforcement approach along established illicit trafficking routes into the EU.

From source to destination, countries located along illicit trafficking routes often suffer the harmful consequences that affect daily life. Fostering violence and corruption and undermining good governance, illicit trafficking jeopardises national security and economic prosperity, leads to public health problems and causes significant environmental damage.

Drug smuggling routes also often serve as trafficking highways for a host of other illicit products, not just cocaine and heroin. To acknowledge this and to enshrine the benefits of trans-regional law enforcement and judiciary cooperation in countering transnational security threats into its response, the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development launched a new umbrella programme in November 2019: the Global Illicit Flows Programme of the European Union (GIFP).

Taking stock of the history of the Cocaine Route Programme and building on its achievements, the GIFP has been designed to be a more effective mechanism for the European Union to assist partner countries in their efforts to tackle transnational organised crime. It is also intended to serve as a vehicle for the EU and its Member States’ law enforcement authorities to achieve wider global reach.

An important aim of the GIFP is to expand the focus and remit of international cooperation to “Organised Crime Flows” more broadly, in order to give greater insight, respond to changes in organised criminality and an evolution towards poli-criminality and stimulate pro-activity in transnational law enforcement cooperation. The programme will support the fight against organised crime on trans-regional illicit routes, be it in relation to narcotics and the movement of pre-cursor chemicals, illicit arms trafficking, wildlife crime, or illicit financial flows.

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Linking stakeholders in the fight against organised crime and illicit trafficking

The GIFP seeks to establish the new direction required to deliver momentum, disruption and impact across a wide sphere of serious organised crime, so as to support the national security and sustainable development of international partners in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia whilst protecting European member state borders and security.

The GIFP enhances the partnerships that exist between the EU and other organisations at international, regional, national and local level, with the aim of connecting relevant actors and agencies involved in the fight against organised crime and the reduction of drug demand and supply. It also aims to better steer and coordinate the European Commission’s cooperation initiatives with third countries in the area of transnational organised crime, with the ultimate goal of increasing impact.

The programme achieves its objectives by engaging the operational, analytical, thematic and support capabilities offered by its eight component projects, AIRCOP, COLIBRI, CRIMJUST, DISRUPT, EU-ACT, MASIF, SEACOP  and the EU-UNDOC Firearms Project, as well as through collaborative connectivity with other partner complementary projects, institutions and agencies.

About the European Union

The European Union is a strategic partner in combating transnational organised crime.

The Global Illicit Flows Programme is funded by the European Commission – EuropeAid via the Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP, art. 5).

Established initially in 2007, the Instrument for Stability (IfS) was rebranded in 2014 to the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). It is the main thematic tool of the European Commission to improve security in partner countries, complementing other financial tools in particular where geographical or traditional development instruments cannot be used. It is possible to provide ‘assistance in response to situations of crisis or emerging crisis to prevent conflicts’ as well as longer-term programmes relating to conflict prevention, peace-building and crisis-preparedness as well as addressing global, trans-regional and emerging threats (such as, amongst others, organised crime and drug trafficking).

From the Cocaine and Heroin Route Programmes (CRP and HRP) to the Global Illicit Flows Programme of the European Union

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Heroin Route Programme I (2008-2013)

Heroin Route Programme I

GIZ, ECO, INTERPOL, UNODC, BKA
Heroin Route Programme II (2013-2015)

Container Control along the Heroin Route

12/2011-12/2014

WCO-UNODC

Information Networks along the Heroin Route

11/2012-11/2015

FIIAPP and EU Member States

Support to the fight against Trafficking in Human Beings in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Turkey

12/2013-06/2014

ICMPD and EU Member States

The Heroin Route Programme becomes EU-ACT

EU Action against drugs and organised crime (EU-ACT)

01/2017-12/2020
Cocaine Route Programme (2009-2019)

GAFISUD

GAFISUD I: 12/2009-12/2012

GAFISUD II: 12/2011-12/2014

Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP)

AIRCOP I: 01/2010-06/2014

AIRCOP II: 02/2011-06/2016

Seaport Cooperation Project (SEACOP)

Phases I and II: 07/2010-07/2015

AMERIPOL-EU

12/2010-12/2015

Cocaine Route Monitoring and Support Project (CORMS)

CORMS I: 05/2011-05/2014

West African Police Information System (WAPIS)

WAPIS I: 09/2012-09/20213

WAPIS II: 10/2013-02/2016

Cocaine Route Programme (2009-2019)

Prevention of the diversion of drugs precursors in the Latin American and Caribbean region (PRELAC)

PRELAC I: 03/2009-02/2012

PRELAC II: 02/2012-02/2016

Anti-Money Laundering activities in West Africa (AML-WA)

12/2013-01/2016

Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP)

AIRCOP III: 12/2013-12/2017

AIRCOP IV: 06/2017-12/2020

AIRCOP V: 12/2019-05/2022

Cocaine Route Monitoring and Support Project (CORMS)

CORMS II: 05/2014-11/2016

CORMS III: 05/2016-06/2020

Seaport Cooperation project (SEACOP)

Phases III and IV: 12/2014-12/2020

GAFISUD III

12/2014-06/2017

Strengthening Criminal Investigation and Criminal Justice Cooperation along the Cocaine Route (CRIMJUST)

CRIMJUST I: 01/2016-12/2020

CRIMJUST II: 01/2019-12/2021

Controling and Monitoring General Aviation along the Cocaine Route (COLIBRI)

01/2019-12/2021
Global Illicit Flows Programme (GIFP-November 2019)

AIRCOP, COLIBRI, CORMS, CRIMJUST, EU-ACT, iARMS and SEACOP form altogether the Global Illicit Flows Programme