South-Eastern Europe has long served as a corridor for several drug-trafficking routes to Western and Central Europe. Owing to its geographical position between Afghanistan, the world’s most important opiate-producing country, and the large and lucrative markets for opiates in Western and Central Europe, South-Eastern Europe is a crucial stage on one of the world’s most important heroin trafficking routes, the “Balkan route”. Diverse drug flows come from multiple directions. Externally, cocaine arrives from South America. Internally, South-Eastern Europe produces relatively large amounts of cannabis, most notably in Albania, and the region also has a recent history of producing and trafficking amphetamine-type-stimulants (ATS). Of all these drug flows, however, only heroin flows can be considered strategically significant to consumption markets in Western and Central Europe.

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