The rapid movement of people, goods and capital over recent years has opened up new opportunities for organised crime. In a globalised world drugs, arms, hazardous waste, protected species and the financial proceeds of crime flow rapidly across countries and continents. The authority of law enforcement and judicial authorities comes to a halt at national borders. The Cocaine Route Programme (CRP) presents a concerted effort by the European Union and its partners to staunch the flow of illicit goods and facilitate communication and cooperation of criminal investigators and prosecutors. Since 2009, the EU has committed over €50 million to the programme in over 40 countries through the Instrument contributing to Peace and Stability. Its current focus is on transnational organised crime and drug trafficking in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa to Europe.

The Cocaine Route Programme addresses the challenge of a fragmented law enforcement approach along the trafficking route by promoting regional and trans-regional cooperation. The programme also seeks to build the capacity of law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies addressing cocaine trafficking and related criminal activity such as money laundering and the trafficking of precursor chemicals.

The programme has supported 9 different projects designed to promote the interception of drugs, support anti-money laundering activities, improve the exchange of information, analysis and intelligence, as well as criminal investigations and criminal justice cooperation.

Cocaine Route Programme Monitoring and Support

In 2011 the Cocaine Route Programme Monitoring and Support (CORMS) project was established to increase the synergies between all the components of the CRP as well as to improve coordination with other initiatives carried out by the European Union in the fight against organised crime and drug trafficking. From 2014, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is managing this component of the Cocaine Route Programme.

The Website of the Cocaine Route Programme is designed as an information depository, to provide analysis and encourage discussion among stakeholders in addition to record the achievements of the CRP and its individual components.

About RUSI

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is an independent think tank engaged in cutting edge research on security and defence matters. A unique institution, founded in 1831, RUSI embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion and careful reflection on security issues. The National Security and Resilience Department conducts a broad range of research, advisory and consultancy services for policymakers and practitioners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The team includes academics, former policy-makers, practitioners, and analysts who deploy an evidence based approach to research to improve policy and decision-making. This multidisciplinary capability is complemented by an extensive formal and informal network of high-level contacts across the globe.

About the European Union

The European Union is a strategic partner in combating transnational organised crime.

The Cocaine Route Programme is funded by the European Commission – EuropeAid via the Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP, art. 5).

Established initially in 2007, the Instrument for Stability (IfS) was rebranded in 2014 to the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). It is the main thematic tool of the European Commission to improve security in partner countries, complementing other financial tools in particular where geographical or traditional development instruments cannot be used. It is possible to provide ‘assistance in response to situations of crisis or emerging crisis to prevent conflicts’ as well as longer-term programmes relating to conflict prevention, peace-building and crisis-preparedness as well as addressing global, trans-regional and emerging threats (such as, amongst others, organised crime and drug trafficking).