World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


EU Drugs Policy: Progress Across The Board


Update on EU Drugs Policy: progress across the board

The Commission has issued its annual Communication reviewing the implementation of the EU Action Plan on Drugs (2005-2008). The Communication concludes that the EU's balanced approach in tackling the drug problem is becoming increasingly effective.

In 2006 EU law enforcement agencies continued to be very active in detecting and preventing the trafficking of both drugs and drug precursors, resulting in an increasing number of seizures and stopped shipments. There is close cooperation between Member States and Europol in targeting drug-related crime.

Member States, with the support of Europol and the Commission, work together in initiatives such as the Maritime Analysis and Operational Centre - Narcotics (MAOC-N), which combines crime intelligence information from seven Member States in successful operations against cocaine trafficking across the Atlantic.

Thanks to sustained investment in independent monitoring and assessment of the drug problem by bodies such as the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the EU gains a more accurate picture of the true nature of the drug problem.

Vice-President of the Commission, Franco Frattini, and Commissioner responsible for Freedom, Justice and Security, which includes responsibility for the fight against the production and use of illegal drugs in Europe, was encouraged by the Communication. However, he commented: "We must all be very careful not to be complacent and to keep vigilant.

There are areas of concern and we must stay one-step ahead to fight the danger illegal drugs poses to the very fabric of our society. At the same time, we are tackling head-on all elements of the very damaging aspects of the illegal trade in drugs. Importantly, the Communication today shows we are making important wins. "

At international level, with a total value of some 760 Million Euro, the EU is now the biggest player in the global effort against drugs, cooperating with governments and organisations all over the world, including production and transit countries.

Major assistance is provided to Afghanistan (452 Million Euro), and to the Andean region (220 Million Euro), to reduce the production of cocaine. The balanced approach is at the heart of these efforts, incorporating EU principles of respect for human rights and the rule of law. At the level of the UN, the EU is the largest funder of UNODC.

Despite such efforts, recent information shows that cocaine use is on the rise. This trend is worrying and seems to follow global patterns. At the same time, the use of other substances such as cannabis and amphetamine type stimulants shows stabilisation or decline, but warns against the risk of complacency and reduced attention. The bulk of synthetic drugs on the European market are produced within the EU and these substances pose a continuous threat to public health, especially that of young people.

Major achievements have been made in recent years in reducing health risks to individuals and society. Harm reduction is now accepted as an important element of drug and public health policies in all EU Member States and has resulted in fewer drug-related deaths and in curbing the spread of drug-related infectious diseases such as HIV/ AIDS and Hepatitis.

However, the increasing trend in cocaine use poses a serious challenge to drug treatment services all over the EU. In 2008, the Commission will make recommendations for reducing health-related harm associated with drug use and dependence inside prisons.

In spite of the progress that is being made, the EU Institutions and the Member States therefore need to continue to invest in effective approaches, the exchange of high-quality data and in closer cooperation.

In 2008, the Commission will publish the final evaluation of the EU Action Plan on Drugs 2005-2008 and propose the EU Action Plan on Drugs 2009-2012. Based on lessons learnt and taking into account the changing situation in the drug market, this new Action Plan will be designed to target the drug problem at European level and a global scale.

ENDS

SEE: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news