European Commission proposals for stronger response to drugs in the European Union / Public Consultation

In a communication published in late October 2011, the European Commission presented its proposals for a stronger European Union response to drugs. This is the strategy that the European Commission proposes to be followed by EU in the next two years in order to face the new challenges in the supply of illegal drugs, where new methods have been introduced through the use of modern technologies. This requires from the competent authorities different approaches in order to limit the diversion of chemical precursors used to produce synthetic psychotropic substances. Harm reduction and reduction of drug use is the other priority area of the commission’s proposals.
The text of the communication on the new strategy is summarized in the following:


1. Stronger EU legislation on new psychoactive substances is needed so that the EU can provide a faster response, including the possibility of temporary bans, as well as tackling the sale of drugs over the internet;
2. New EU legislation will be introduced to target cross-border trafficking in drugs by means of criminal law: the Commission will improve the definition of offences and sanctions and introduce stronger reporting obligations for Member States;
3. New EU laws will strengthen the control over chemicals used for drugs production;
4. More effective rules will be proposed to deprive drug traffickers of their financial gains: the Commission will propose rules on the confiscation and recovery of assets involved in serious crime, including drug trafficking;
5. More cooperation will be promoted at international level, especially with transit and producing countries outside the EU, as well as with countries considered as major entry points for drugs in Europe.
6. In the area of prevention and treatment, the commission will help develop minimum quality standards to improve the effectiveness of drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction in the EU
7.The commission will further support and promote measures to reduce health and social harms associated with drug dependence, including strengthening of educational prevention and early support in avoiding addiction, interventions to prevent and control infections among people who inject drugs and to prevent drug related deaths.
8. The Commission intends to submit a second report on the implementation of the 2003 Recommendation on harm reduction designed to assess the effectiveness of prevention and reduction of heath related harm associated with drug dependence.
The European Commission has already submitted its proposals to the European Parliament and the European Council and invites interested parties, organisations and agencies to submit comments and proposals on the communication in a public consultation that will last until January 20, 2012. This consultation aims at gathering the opinion of individuals and stakeholders that have an interest in and would like to shape the EU anti-drugs policy. The consultation is designed to help the European Commission identify what are the EU-level actions on which it should focus in order to bring added value in the field of drugs policy. For more information about the public consultation see:
http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/anti-drugs/opinion/111027_en.htm

You can also see the press release, here.