Global demand for cocaine has shifted. Demand in the United States was more than four times as high as in Europe in 1998, but just over a decade later, the volume and value of the West and Central European cocaine market (US$33 billion) is approaching parity with that of the US (US$37 billion). Two thirds of European cocaine users live in just three countries: the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. With Germany and France, these countries represent 80% of European cocaine consumption.
In line with the principle of shared responsibility and a balanced approach to the drug problem, the expansion of the cocaine market across the Atlantic and, more recently, in South America, highlights the importance of developing strategies on the scale of the cocaine threat. Efforts must be increasingly coordinated and integrated into an international approach that adapts to new developments as quickly as the traffickers. There are many reasons to be optimistic about the capacity of the international community to achieve a significant reduction of the global cocaine market during the present decade.