Posted on 20 Dec 2013
This is the first time that Europol and the EMCDDA have joined forces to produce a comprehensive analysis of the European drug market in its entirety. Previous joint publications from our agencies have focused on individual market elements, but up to now we have never brought these together within a single analytical framework. The big picture needs to be seen—the increasingly joined-up nature of the modern European drug market demands an equally joined-up analysis. Information and analysis are fundamental to the work of both Europol and the EMCDDA. But the organisations’ perspectives and relationships to data are different. This report benefits from Europol’s strategic perspective and operational understanding of trends and developments in organised crime that comes from working actively in the field to support European law enforcement efforts. This is complemented by the insight that comes from the EMCDDA’s ongoing monitoring and analysis of data covering various aspects of the drug phenomenon in Europe and beyond. The joint vision that the two agencies bring to this topic is a broad and complementary one, and we believe the analysis it generates is in many ways unique. The drug market is a complex place; we cannot fully understand the supply of drugs in Europe if we do not comprehend the changing nature of demand. Patterns of drug use in the EU are changing: new drugs enter the marketplace on a regular basis and drug users rarely restrict their consumption to specific substances. Equally, the criminality that the drug market generates can only be properly understood in the wider context of organised crime groups’ operations.