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Transatlantic Drug Trade

Europe, Latin America and the Need to Strengthen Anti-Narcotics Cooperation
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• The cocaine business has changed significantly in recent years. Once concentrated in Colombia, it
has now expanded to the entire Latin American region with Brazil, Mexico, Central America, and
Venezuela having become central corridors for the illegal traffic.
• As the market for cocaine has been contracting in North America, Latin American drug networks
have switched their attention to Europe, which is now the world’s fastest growing market for
• The cocaine enters Europe mainly by exploiting the legitimate container trade. Most shipments
continue to be directed to Western Europe, but recently the illicit trade has been expanding
eastward with new entry points opening up in the Black Sea and Balkan area. There are also
indications of a possible new entry point in the Eastern Baltic Sea area.
• Not only are Latin American criminal organizations expanding their activities on the European
drug market, but they are also exploiting the European financial crisis to launder their profits and
move into other branches of the economy.
• The growing transatlantic cocaine trade calls for improving inter-regional counter-narcotics
cooperation. Concrete steps should be taken to promote stronger links between anti-drugs
programmes, development cooperation and public security policies on both sides of the Atlantic.

The European Union and Central America: negotiating an interregional agreement

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Considered Countries: 
Regional integration schemes have proliferated around the world and with them the
interaction between regions or interregionalism. The European Union (EU) has been
supporting these integration efforts worldwide, putting special attention to Latin America
(CARICOM and the Andean Community) and to the Central American case in particular.
Relations with Europe have played an important role in the history of this region,
especially in the last decades. Europe’s active participation in the democratic transition
was instrumental for the consolidation of peace in the region. These efforts started with
the Diálogo de San José (1984). From the European perspective it was clear in that
moment that a national and regional approach was needed in order to successfully
achieve regional pacification and stability. The Dialog gave birth to an increasing
biregional interaction that currently seeks to strength the relations with an Association
Agreement (AA). This AA between Central American countries and the EU constitutes
the first biregional agreement in the world; but why is the EU interested in strengthening
its relations with Central America? Why is the EU negotiating an AA with this region?
The present essay seeks to evaluate critically EU’s interest in CA giving priority to the
political interest at stake considering that economic motivations are marginal due to the
trade among these regions. This paper proposes that EU’s main driving force behind the
negotiations is of political nature and its main goals are: (1) to strengthen its actorness in
the international community, particularly within the triad and with strong competence
with the US; (2) to promote its integration model and the echoing of its process or what
some scholars call Europeanization; (3) to promote inter-regionalism and region-toregion
dialog by insisting in negotiating with CA as a whole; and finally (4) to use the
AA as a tool to achieve and strengthen consensus within state members. Nevertheless it is
important to bear in mind that due to the integral characteristics of this accord it
strengthens relations on several fields: economical, political and of cooperation which for
the EU vision are interdependent issues. Finally I conclude pointing out the main
difficulties in exporting a model and suggest future research directions.

The Odd Couple: The EU and Cuba 1996-2008

Brookings Institution
Washington D.C.
Considered Countries: 
What has EU policy towards Cuba achieved? What might have been done differently?
What lessons does EU policy offer for other countries in the context of a changing
regime in Havana? Is foreign policy a key component in any peaceful transition in


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