The EU is about to get tougher on two of the most damaging illegal drugs, heroin and cocaine, which continue to enter the bloc in large quantities.
Interior ministers meeting in Brussels have decided on a plan and the immediate setting up of the COSI, or Internal Security Operational Commitee, to spearhead the effort.
Agreement for the plan is expected in April, and it will then go forward to the European Council meeting in June.
It is estimated that Europe consumes 17 per cent of all cocaine from South America, or 150 tonnes, with a value of nine billion euros. It transits West Africa before arriving in Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and France.
Heroin has to make the journey overland from Asia and Afghanistan, entering Europe through the Balkans and Turkey.
The plan will create groups of nations working together, one in the West targeting cocaine, the other in the East to stop heroin.
EU launches fresh anti-drugs offensive