EU launches alliance to jointly protect ports from international drug trafficking

EU launches alliance to jointly protect ports from international drug trafficking

press release

, Date:
24 January 2024

European Ports Alliance launched in Antwerp today.

Ports are hubs for international trade in goods, but also central gateways for the smuggling of illegal goods, in particular for the import of drugs such as cocaine into Europe. In search of profit, criminal networks quickly adapt their delivery routes. Improving the security of ports and other logistical hubs therefore requires a joint approach. Together with Germany and other EU member states, the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU has therefore launched the European Ports Alliance Public Private Partnership in Antwerp today. The partnership will bring together public and private actors to coordinate the fight against drug trafficking and organised crime in Europe.

Federal Minister of the Interior and Community Nancy Faeser said: “I am delighted that together, we are launching the Ports Alliance, a security alliance for our seaports. Ports in the Netherlands, Belgium and France are currently even more affected by international drug smuggling. But the growing pressure drug cartels are putting on Europe is also affecting Germany, in particular the Port of Hamburg. That is why we want to achieve stronger and internationally coordinated action against trafficking in cocaine and other drugs. We must turn up the pressure on drug traffickers by intensifying our investigations.

“Drugs smuggled into Europe destroy people’s lives and generate huge profits for organised crime. Drug gangs create an inconceivable spiral of violence. I absolutely want to prevent the violence other countries are already experiencing from reaching Germany.

“We are seeing how drug gangs are trying to rope in port workers for their illegal activities. That is why we also need to focus on effective prevention. It is especially important to make port staff resilient to corruption.”

Organised crime is largely transnational, which means that German authorities identify these crimes as international crimes and/or cooperation with organised crime groups from abroad.

The overall amount of drugs seized has remained at a very high level at the ports in Antwerp (Belgium) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Europe’s main gateways for cocaine. As in the previous year, a total of approximately 160 tonnes of cocaine was seized in these ports in 2022.
In Antwerp alone, 116 tonnes of cocaine were seized in 2023. In the Netherlands, 59.1 tonnes were seized and about 35 tonnes in Germany.

In addition to Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain, Germany is part of the Coalition of European Countries against Serious and Organised Crime, which aims to increase the resilience of logistical hubs such as ports across national borders.

Federal Minister Faeser will host the next ministerial meeting of this group in Hamburg on 7 May 2024, where port security and resilience of logistical hubs will play an important role.

Originally published at;jsessionid=4D3AA6898AED6E8C8B70AB4674C6E15F.live862

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