The cocaine market in the European Union is “large and growing” while the smaller methamphetamine market is “constantly growing”, according to new analyzes published this Friday by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and drug addiction (EMCDDA) and Europol.

An alarming report

The report, outlining Europe’s role in the expansion of the cocaine and methamphetamine markets, is presented Friday morning at a press conference in Brussels.

The EU today faces a “growing threat from a more diverse and dynamic drug market, which relies on close collaboration between European and international criminal organisations”, the authors of the document point out.

Growing availability

“This has resulted in record levels of drug availability, increased violence and corruption and worsening health problems,” said Alexis Goosdeel, director of the EMCDDA, quoted in a statement.

The market for cocaine, the second most widely used drug in the EU after cannabis, is “expanding, driven by unprecedented levels of trafficking resulting in historically high availability”. It thus represented 10.5 billion euros in 2020.

A transformation in Europe

For the fourth consecutive year, record quantities of cocaine (214.6 tons) were seized in Europe in 2020, up 6% compared to 2019, of which three quarters were in Belgium (70 tons), the Netherlands (49 tons) and in Spain (38 tons).

While cocaine manufacture is concentrated in Colombia, Bolivia and Peru – where production was on the rise – processing now takes place in Europe, mainly in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.

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