On the celebration of International day versus drug abuse and illegal trafficking, the EMCDDA and Europol are signing up with agents of the EU organizations today in offering the European point of view on the effect of COVID-19 on the world drug scenario. The panel discussion will conclude a special event of the United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and is co-sponsored by the European Union and the United Nations Work Environment on Drugs and Criminal Activity (UNODC)( 1 ).
In a declaration marking the day, European Commissioner for Migration, House Affairs and Citizenship Ylva Johansson mentioned: ‘The path from drug manufacturer, to distributer, to user, and certainly to cash launderer, is ending up being ever more advanced, more circuitous and more effective. Recently, illegal drugs have increased in availability, with innovation making it possible for online trade, postal dispatch, and hid profits throughout the EU. Modern organized criminal activity requires a modern-day organised response. We will quickly provide a robust and ambitious EU action on dealing with drug smugglers, boosting prevention methods and targeting those who profit from others’ dependence’.
Floriana Sipala, Head of the Organised Lawbreaker Activity and Drugs Policy System at the European Commission, will provide the opening remarks on the CND panel, followed by a speech from Europol Executive Director Catherine De Bolle. EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel will supply the closing remarks (2 ).
The EMCDDA and Europol have in fact been ‘taking the pulse’ of the impact of COVID-19 on drug use, drug services and drug markets. In a report published last month (3 ), they explored drug market developments under the pandemic and their influence on public health and security in the EU. The analysis reported higher rates, local deficiencies and decreased pureness for some drugs, while noting continued violence among companies and suppliers. It similarly discussed how organised criminal activity groups have really remained active and resistant, by adjusting transportation styles, trafficking paths and concealment methods throughout the pandemic.Speaking today, Catherine De Bolle specified:’ The pandemic has had a major impact on our lives, and is decreasing our economy. Regrettably, this decline has really not been seen in international drugs trafficking. While our legal economy is jeopardizing, criminal markets have in fact continued their service and have actually wound up being a lot more effective, producing substantial profits. The motion of bulk quantities of drugs to the European Union and between EU Member States has actually continued and seizures of illegal drugs in some EU countries throughout the first half of 2020 have actually been higher than in the exact same months of previous years’.’ More than ever, this upsetting pattern should influence us to guarantee that any healing from the pandemic is accompanied by a strong and effective police reaction, combined with a consistent public health reaction. We require to collectively develop that drug traffickers do not acquire from the possible social and financial effects of the crisis’, Executive Director De Bolle added.EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel declared:’ The monetary economic crisis that we have in front people is more than likely to be harmful in regards to psychological and physical health and might result in a considerable increase of compound use in the fundamental population. It can be prepared for that it will magnify the unfavorable effects of the pandemic for individuals who are using drugs and for vulnerable groups in basic. For that reason, it is of utmost significance to integrate drug-related services into the essential health services at national level, to provide sufficient devices and tools for frontline employees, and to keep the financing and performance of drug-related services in the post-pandemic period.’ Alexis Goosdeel concluded:’ The method which the different services and authorities have in fact been collaborating in the European Union in the times of
this pandemic has really shown that the” well balanced method “of the EU drugs policy has in fact added to care and to safeguard, rather than to penalize’. Source