Diversified unity: a critical of European Union efforts to combat drug trafficking

Banas, Radoslaw (2013) Diversified unity: a critical of European Union efforts to combat drug trafficking. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This study is dedicated to the efforts taken by the European Union (EU) in order to eradicate illicit drug trafficking crime. Even a succinct overview of tendencies in the development of this phenomenon clearly highlights the need for intensive and wide-reaching common actions in an area without internal frontiers that benefits traffickers fully exploiting this and other spoils of globalisation. Current international interdiction regime is ineffective in reducing the scale of global drugs trade and increasingly contested worldwide. With its ever strengthened competences in the area of criminal law and justice, the EU has developed the whole panoply of police and judicial cooperation measures intended inter alia to curb drug trafficking, considered a major threat to citizens’ security and well-being. In pursuing its policies the EU faces not only difficulties inherent to this very challenging combat but also strong resistance from its Member States, concerned about losing control over the sensitive criminal law and justice area. But perhaps the biggest challenge that the EU shares with its global partners is the lack of reliable indicators allowing it to make informed policy choices in view of eradicating drug supply. In the light of such serious constraints this study adopted a mixed-method design where primary research in the form of interviews with experts coming from EU institutions and two selected contrasting Member States is built upon and triangulated with the analysis of secondary sources.
    The overarching aim of this study is to present conclusions on the future direction of the EU anti-drug trafficking measures based on the critical analysis of those applied currently, in particular under the angle of their effectiveness. Key findings of the research have shown that the EU has given at disposal of its Member States rather comprehensive set of measures most of which are successfully applied, although not always optimally and without difficulties. While some inefficiencies can be attributed to the EU itself, a part of the blame is carried also by the Member States, not trusting each other and underexploiting possibilities made available. Conclusions were drawn on the desired direction of actions that should allow to overcome these inefficiencies and cooperation barriers. In general terms they call the EU to focus its limited resources on further improvements in certain key areas where it has already achieved significant results, such as the facilitating work of its agencies, like Europol and data exchange, while possibly avoiding politically sensitive initiatives with unclear added value, taking in every respect an utmost care for the respect of fundamental right both on the internal and external front.
    Overall, however, even the mixed method only allowed to partially conclude as to the efficiency of individual EU measures and thus desired direction of future action. Until reliable indicators are developed policy choices can probably only be supported by the results of this and similar qualitative method based studies. The development of these indicators should become a principal priority for the EU in the coming years.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2014 10:26
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:35
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14524

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