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03BRUSSELS3243 2003-06-23 16:13:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

CENTRAL DUBLIN GROUP MEETING: JUNE 2003

Tags:   EAID KCRM PREL SNAR EUN USEU BRUSSELS 
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					UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 003243 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR INL/PC MAREN BROOKS; DEPARTMENT PASS ONDCP
CHARLOTTE SISSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID KCRM PREL SNAR EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: CENTRAL DUBLIN GROUP MEETING: JUNE 2003

REF: BRUSSELS 0614 (NOTAL)



1. This cable contains an action request. See para. 9.



2. Summary. In a productive June 9-10 meeting in Athens, the
members of the Central Dublin Group reviewed regional reports
from Central Asia (Italy), Eastern Europe (Germany),
Southwest Asia (UK) and Southeast Asia and China (Australia).
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou addressed the Group
in connection with the thematic discussion of the "Balkan
route." Europol, UN Office of Drugs and Crime (ODC) and the
U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) made presentations. In
connection with the 2004 Olympics to be held in Athens, there
was a brief presentation on sports and doping by officials of
the Olympic Committee. It was noted that Spain and the
United States would switch regional chairs for the next two
years: Spain would be responsible for the regional report on
South America and the U.S. for Central America. The reports
would be due at the next meeting of the Central Dublin Group
in December/January 2004. On the margins of the meeting, the
Italian delegation asked if the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek could
take the lead on formation of a Mini Dublin Group in
Kyrgystan. This was the first meeting of the Group attended
by EU accession state members who were there as observers.
USEU NAS Frank Kerber, INL/PC Program Analyst Maren Brooks,
and Embassy Athens JHA officer Alfred Schandlbauer attended
the meeting. End Summary.

General Discussion


--------------------------





3. The thematic discussion of the "Balkan route" was opened
by Jorge Molling, Deputy Head of the Europol Drugs Unit. He
divided the Balkan drug trafficking route into three primary
sectors: the northern, central and southern routes. The
northern route, in turn, could be divided into three: 1)
Turkey-Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Poland; 2)
Turkey-Bulgaria-Romania-Germany; and 3)
Turkey-Bulgaria-Serbia-Croatia-Slovenia. The central route
is Turkey-Bulgaria-FYROM-Bosnia-Italy. The southern route is
Turkey-Greece-Albania-Italy). He noted that 75 percent of
the heroin in Europe is processed in Turkey by organized
criminal groups. Fifteen percent of the Balkan economy is
based on the illicit drug trade. The UNODC presentation was
given by Vladimir Femepetov. He noted that 75 percent of the
heroin in Europe is processed in Turkey by organized criminal
groups, and that 15 percent of the Balkan economy is based on
the illicit drug trade. Tony Ballas, DEA representative at
Embassy Athens, said that the Balkan route for contraband,
illegal narcotics and human trafficking is the prime gateway
to the Western Europe market. In addition, the Balkans have
become a major transfer and storage point. There has been a
proliferation of clandestine labs along the route for the
manufacture and/or synthesis of heroin and synthetic drugs
like Ecstasy. The French delegate gave a summary of the
recommendations of the Ministerial Conference on drug
trafficking routes from Central Asia to Europe hosted by
France on May 21-22, 2003.



4. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou addressed the
Group, stressing that the interrelation between supply and
demand for narcotics "should prompt us to examine how we can
contribute to combating criminalty and whether it is possible
for drug users to stay away from criminal circles." He
stressed the great importance attached by the Greek
Presidency to problem of drug trafficking, as well as to all
security issues relating to narcotics smuggling, while
underlining the need for the EU to formulate a common policy
on the issue. Papandreou noted the "polarization" between
more lenient policies in some European countries and those in
favor of the present legal structure. He said it is
important to hold a continuous dialogue on drug policy with
all regions of the world, including the U.S., "the leader in
the area of anti-narcotics policies." On harm reduction, the
Foreign Minister said: "I continue to believe that it is a
justified approach. There is some ambiguity which allows
certain misconceptions and criticism by international
narcotics control agencies of the practices adopted in
certain (European) countries, as well as hesitation on the
part of other countries (read U,S,) to adopt measures which
have proven effective." Finally, he called on the EU to
promote an open dialogue on how to deal with the growing
problem of cannabis use.

Regional Reports


--------------------------





5. The members reviewed regional reports from Central Asia
(Italy), Eastern Europe (Germany), Southwest Asia (UK) and
Southeast Asia and China (Australia). It was noted that
Spain and the United States would switch regional chairs for
the next two years: Spain would be responsible for the
regional report on South America and the U.S. for Central
America. The reports are due at the next meeting of the
Central Dublin Group in December/January 2004. On the
margins of the meeting, the Italian delegation asked if the
U.S. Embassy in Bishkek could take the lead on formation of a
Mini Dublin Group in Kyrgystan.

Other Business


--------------------------





6. The chair (Raymond Yans, Belgian consul in Luxembourg)
announced that the next meeting of the Central Dublin Group
would be held in Brussels in December or January 2003,
depending on the availability of meeting rooms at the EU.
The thematic discussion at this meeting will be the
toxicological impact of cannabis use. In this connection,
the chair asked if the U.S. could provide a scientific expert
on the subject.



7. The chair noted that several EU ambassadors, including
Germany and The Netherlands, had asked about the harmful
health and environmental impact of the U.S. eradication and
fumigation program in Central and South America. He asked
whether the U.S. could provide an expert to discuss this
issue at the next meeting.

Accession States


--------------------------





8. This was the first meeting to which the EU accession
states were invited. Only Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech
Republic sent observers. The accession states will continue
in observer status at the winter meeting, but will assume
full membership at the summer 2004 session. These countries
have converted from their previous status as the subjects of
Mini Dublin regional reports to that of Dublin Group members
solely by virtue of their accession to the EU next year.
Kiyokazu Ota, Minister at the Japanese Mission to the UN in
Vienna, and Elizabeth Day, Second Secretary at the Australian
Mission to the UN in Vienna, expressed their concern
privately to the USDEL that inclusion of all ten accession
states clearly weighed Central Dublin Group membership in
favor of the EU (25 to 5), with the U.S., Canada, Japan,
Australia and Norway the only non-EU members. They indicated
their intention to press for a discussion of "Dublin Group"
membership criteria at the next meeting.



9. Action request. Please advise whether the U.S. intends to
provide experts on the health impact of cannabis use as well
as the U.S. eradication and fumigation program in Central and
South America at the winter Dublin Group meeting. Request
also department thoughts on membership criteria for Dublin
Group.

FOSTER