On 24 July, the EU Commission set out its new EU Security Union Strategy for the period 2020 to 2025. The strategy lays out the tools and measures to be developed over the next 5 years to ensure security in the physical and digital environment. Included are key measures such as an Agenda for tackling organised crime, including trafficking in human beings for next year: with a new EU Agenda on Drugs to strengthen efforts on drug demand and supply reduction, and reinforce cooperation with external partners; a new EU Action Plan against firearms trafficking; and the Commission will review the current framework for seizing criminal assets. There will also be a new EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling. The Agenda identifies 8 strategic priorities related to security, prevention and health, relating to drugs including –
- Disrupting and dismantling major high-risk drug-related organised crime groups operating in EU Member States and addressing links with other security threats;
- Increasing detection of illicit trafficking of drugs and drug precursors at EU points of entry and exit;
- Increasing effective monitoring of logistical and digital channels exploited for medium and small-volume drug distribution and increasing seizures of illicit substances smuggled through these channels in close cooperation with the private sector; and
- Dismantling drug production and processing, preventing the diversion and trafficking of drug precursors for illicit drug production, and eradicating illegal cultivation.
Re the new Action Plans on firearms,new threats and ways of operating that need to be addressed include:
- Smuggling of firearms and firearms parts into the EU through fast parcels;
- Smuggling by cars and coaches, known as ‘ant-trade’;
- Imports and intra-EU transfers of alarm and signal weapons that can be easily converted into lethal firearms;
- Remaining legislative discrepancies between Member States, with some weapons still being freely available (such as ‘Flobert’ weapons initially designed for ‘living-room’ shooting); and
- Imports of semi-finished weapons components to be assembled at home and 3D-printing of firearms (for polymer or even metallic parts).