Further insights into aspects of the illicit EU drugs market
This report provides the results from an analysis of characteristics and operations of the EU’s illicit drugs market as called for by the European Commission. The study is a follow-up of the earlier European Commission study presenting an analysis of the developments of the global illicit drugs market, the drug problems and drug policy responses in the period 1998-2007 (Reuter and Trautmann 2009). The discussions of that study resulted in a number of further research questions considered important for future drug policy making in the EU. The questions regarded as most important by the European... Commission have been put together in a call for a further analysis of the EU illicit drugs market and responses to it, focusing on a number of aspects in the following four areas: A. An analysis of specific characteristics, mechanisms and factors that govern the EU illicit drugs market, including a conceptual framework for thinking about the structure of the supply side of that market, an assessment whether there have been significant shifts in how drugs are supplied in the EU and an assessment of the extent to which drug suppliers are involved in different drugs and other criminal activities. B. A detailed analysis of the size and share of the EU illicit drug market, providing an estimate of the volume of the ‘EU market’ in illicit drugs (production and trafficking) and of the profits generated by this market, analysing whether the EU drugs market is more supply or demand driven and exploring various aspects of drug use: user types, availability and consumption estimates. C. A detailed analysis of a number of potential policy impacts on the EU drug market(s) in recent years, assessing the impact of opioid substitution treatment (OST) on the European heroin market and the impact of policy changes on two EU drug markets. D. Scanning the future – exploring expert views on future key trends of the illicit drug markets and policy responses in the EU.