EMCDDA trendspotter briefing – Illicit drug markets and supply in the Western Balkans: Impact of COVID-19


The Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) registered the main waves of COVID-19 infections later than most of the EU countries, but containment strategies were implemented at the same time and with equal force as in the rest of Europe. This report provides the main results of studies conducted using the trendspotter methodology to explore the impact of the pandemic and associated measures on the drug markets and supply in the Western Balkans.

*Kosovo: this designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

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Table of contents

  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Trendspotter methodology
  • Context: National responses to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • The main observations in drug markets
  • Drug production
  • Main challenges for law enforcement
  • References
  • Resources
  • Acknowledgements