Drug trafficking and its fight is the theme of a new operational meeting of the EU Security HUB

Drug trafficking trends and risks on the European continent, increased drug demand, logistical routes and regional dynamics, were discussed today, 9 November 2023, at the 8th session of the EU Security HUB for Internal Security and Border Management in Republic of Moldova (EU Security HUB).

The 8th operational meeting of the EU Security Hub was organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in partnership with the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova and the Directorate-General for Migration and Internal Affairs of the European Commission (DG HOME). The event was attended by both key experts from eight EU member countries and European security practitioners, including Olivier Onidi, Deputy Director General of DG HOME; Jurgen Ebner, Deputy Executive Director of Europol (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation); Gabor Kemeny, Deputy Head of the International Cooperation Unit of CEPOL (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training); and representatives of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

The host of the event, the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, Adrian Efros, noted that: “Together we proved that we are pursuing that main objective of the HUB: the complex, coordinated and unified approach to preventing and combating all forms of crime, moving the European security ecosystem beyond by the borders of the European Union”. “Of course, we could not have done this without the valuable support of EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson and the EU Council Presidencies of the Czech Republic, Sweden and Spain,” reiterated Minister Adrian Efros.

“We are facing a huge challenge that knows no borders – the scourge of drugs. Imagine this fact: €30 billion annually, this is the value of the illegal drug market in the European Union alone. It’s not just huge, it’s the biggest and most profitable criminal market of all. Transnational criminal networks exploit the Republic of Moldova as a transit hub for drugs, transporting enormous quantities of hashish, cocaine and heroin in eastern and western directions. That is why we must work together to address this complex challenge”, specified Olivier Onidi, Deputy Director General of DG HOME.

“On the part of the EU, we are committed to working together with Moldova in addressing the drug trafficking challenge, using a wide range of tools, including political support, financial assistance, operational support, technical expertise and capacity building opportunities. Today’s discussions will contribute to defining our future joint actions”, said Jānis Mažeiks, the ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

During the discussions, the dynamics of the challenges and risks of drug trafficking, were addressed. Participants emphasized the need to combat it through significant catches and review of existing schemes. At the same time, the experts present appreciated the international cooperation, the exchange of information and the responsibility of each involved party to create a secure environment in the European region.

The EU Security HUB is a common platform that provides information, infrastructure and expertise to the Republic of Moldova and EU countries in order to strengthen internal security. The general objective of the HUB is to prevent and combat forms of crime, increasing the security of the EU, but also of neighboring countries. Thus, the Republic of Moldova will contribute to regional and European security.