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Euractiv organises policy events (hybrid, virtual, in-person) in Brussels and other European capitals.

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Illicit trade - What are the impacts and solutions?


Illicit trade - What are the impacts and solutions?

IIllicit trade is a highly profitable 'business' for organised crime. Many products are affected by illicit trade, including alcohol, cigarettes, cosmetics, designer goods, and pharmaceuticals.

In 2020, the UN estimated that more than 2 trillion dollars are lost to illicit trade annually. The loss of funds, that would otherwise be going to public coffers, affects economic recovery by taking away from governments taxable income that can be invested in public services. It also leads to illegal and unfair competition for businesses.

One of the biggest tolls of illicit trade is its high humanitarian cost. Women, children and men across the globe are forced to labour in illicit sectors, often as a result of being trafficked. According to the International Labour Organization, in 2021, 28 million people worldwide were in forced labour.

Join this EURACTIV Stakeholder Workshop to discuss the impact of illicit trade on society and the economy, and the possible solutions. Questions to be discussed include:

- What are the main illegal trade flows, both in the EU and outside?
- What comparisons can be made between different industries affected by illicit trade?
- How does illicit trade affect security in Europe and what are the dangers society is faced with when criminal networks run illegal trade activities? What comparisons can be made with non-EU countries?
- How is illicit trade connected to Europe’s economic crisis, brought about by the pandemic and the war in the Ukraine? How are higher inflation and consequently higher costs of living changing consumers' behaviours?
- How has the growth of e-commerce and proliferation of postal and small parcel delivery services impacted trade in illicit products?


Euractiv Network Office
Boulevard Charlemagne 1, 1041 Brussels

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Tomáš Zdechovsky MEP, Chair DCAS Delegation, Member EMPL Committee, European Parliament

Vanessa Franssen, Professor at the University of Liège (Belgium), affiliated senior researcher at the Institute of Criminal Law of the KU Leuven (Belgium)

Julie Deré, Vice-President, NANAC

Ramunas Macius, Fiscal and Anti-illicit trade Vice President, JTI


Brian Maguire


17:00 – 17:30 Registration of in-person participants
17:30 – 17:35 Welcome
17:35 – 17:50 Panellist statements
17:50 – 18:40 Discussion and Q&A
18:40 – 18:45 Closing statements

Followed by a light networking reception.


Euractiv Events