Drug trafficking remains one of the most productive trades for organised criminal groups in the EU today. And understanding how the illicit drug market works is a high priority of the ongoing European strategy and action plan on drugs. In this optic, the European Commission and the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) have joined forces to organise in Brussels this week the First European conference on drug supply indicators. The event is organised with the active involvement of Europol.
The organisers believe that this milestone event will make an important contribution to achieving the objectives of the EU drugs action plan (2009–12), which calls for the design of standard European indicators on drug supply issues by 2012 (1). The aim of the conference will be to lay the groundwork for a set of technically sound and sustainable indicators for monitoring drug markets, crime and supply reduction to be completed by this date.
EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz says: ‘The last two years have seen unprecedented interest, both technically and politically, in improving the evidence base for understanding issues of drug supply. It is now time to exploit this momentum and put in place the information tools needed to better understand this area of key importance for European drug policy. This is a prerequisite to designing more efficient interventions in future against drug trafficking and drug-related crime.’
Around 120 European and international experts will gather at this by-invitation event to draw up a realistic strategy for moving forward in this area. Among them will be: law-enforcement officers, forensic scientists, criminologists, national data-collection specialists, economists, policy analysts and technical staff of EU and international institutions.
‘European drug policy is based on a balanced approach that deals with the demand as well as the supply of illicit drugs’, says Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, Director at the European Commission’s DG Justice. ‘This conference comes as a result of major investments by the European Commission in research into drug markets and how to control them. Through consensus-building among the EU Member States, the event will help us improve our capacity to address the pressing issue of drug supply in Europe’.
In 2011, technical groups supported by the EMCDDA will take forward the work initiated at the conference. This will result in a concept paper and roadmap for implementing one indicator in each of the conference's three thematic areas (markets, crime and supply reduction). These documents will ultimately be presented to a second consensus meeting, scheduled to be held in Lisbon in 2011.
‘First European conference on drug supply indicators’
20–22 October 2010 — BY INVITATION ONLY
Résidence Palace, Brussels
Full programme available at http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/events/supply-indicators
The results of the seminar will also be available on this page.