The European institutions (European Commission and Council, and the EMCDDA) and member states have broadly been a progressive and civilizing factor in pushing for balanced, evidence based and humane drug policies and programmes. A multiannual EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020 sets out the objectives and actions for EU countries and the Commission on drugs.
An overviewBrendan HughesEMCDDA
At a time of increased debate on the laws controlling the use of cannabis in the European Union, this report answers some of the questions most often asked about cannabis legislation. Using a question and answer format, basic definitions and the obligations of countries under international law are set out in a section on ‘What is cannabis and what are countries’ obligations to control it?‘ Two following sections examine the links and disparities between the content of the laws and their guidelines on the one hand and the actual implementation of the laws on the other. The final question and answer section considers whether changes in law have affected cannabis use and how much public support for legal change exists, as it looks at the future direction of cannabis legislation in Europe.
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EMCDDA and Europol
The 2016 EU Drug Markets Report provides a unique insight into the operation of illicit drug markets in the EU. The report assesses the impact of the drug market on society and the factors driving it. It explores the market for cannabis, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA and new psychoactive substances. Understanding these hidden markets, and the actors involved, is essential to making sound policy decisions with lasting impact. The report combines the analytical power of the EMCDDA’s drug monitoring system with Europol’s operational intelligence on trends in organised crime.READ MORE...
Bottom up rather than top downTom BlickmanSeries on Legislative Reform of Drug Policies No. 28
While in the Americas cannabis policy reform is taking off, Europe seems to be lagging behind. That is to say, in European nations at the level of national governments – where denial of the changing policy landscape and inertia to act upon calls for change reigns. At the local level, however, disenchantment with the current cannabis regime gives rise to new ideas. In several countries in Europe, local and regional authorities are looking at regulation, either pressured by grassroots movements – in particular the Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) – or due to the involvement of criminal groups and public disorder.READ MORE...
Drug policy lessons not learnedJoanne CseteGDPO Policy Brief nr. 2
The UK and the Netherlands commissioned distinguished scholars and experts to study the social and clinical harms of khat. These experts argued that any harms associated with khat did not require a criminal law response. In rejecting that conclusion and banning khat, these two governments have created an enabling environment for organized criminal networks and may exacerbate racial discrimination in drug law enforcement. Moreover, these policies put in danger the livelihood of thousands of people in some of the world’s lowest-income settings.
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International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) / General Directorate for intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD)
June 20-21, 2013
The expert seminar “Where next for Europe on drug policy reform?” analysed the new EU strategy on drugs and its action plan and discussed ways to improve and innovate European drug policy. The seminar comprised of four major sessions : the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan and its public health implications; the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan and its law enforcement implications; regional challenges and the issue of new psychoactive substances; the role of Europe in global drug policy and the European voice in preparation for the 2016 UNGASS. This report also contains the key note speech presented by the former President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio.READ MORE...
IDPC Advocacy Note
The European Union (EU) has had some form of formal drug strategy since the early 1990s. These successive strategies have attempted to articulate a common Europe-wide position, and set out the role for the European Commission (EC) and other agencies in supporting the activities of EU member states given that the main decisions on policy, strategy and resource allocations are made at the national level.READ MORE...
European Union discussion on response to Bolivia's denunciation of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs
Latest update: November 28, 2012
The following notes are summaries of the EU Horizontal Working Party on Drugs discussions about Bolivia’s coca amendment and denunciation of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, taken from the reports of their meetings since September 2010.READ MORE...
International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) & Global Commission on Drug Policy
May 29, 2012
The seminar entitled “Modernising the global drug control system – Can Europe lead?” was organised in the European Parliament by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), and the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and co-hosted by the Member of European Parliament (MEP) Nikos Chrysogelos. The event aimed to present the recommendations of the Global Commission and discuss the role that the European Union (EU) could play in current drug policy reform debates taking place within Europe and around the world. The seminar also comes at a time when the EU is working on drafting a new Drug Strategy to replace the one that will expire at the end of 2012.
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European institutions are taking a wrong turn with simplistic messages and priorities of the failed policies of the pastIDPC Advocacy Note
In recent years of global debate on policies and strategies on controlled drugs, the European institutions (European Commission and Council, and the EMCDDA) and member states have broadly been a progressive and civilizing factor in pushing for balanced, evidence based and humane drug policies and programmes. However, just when the wider global debate is shifting in accordance with these principles, and there are real political opportunities to create more balanced, humane and effective drug policies, there are worrying signs that the European institutions are taking a wrong turn – the vision and leadership on this issue is notably absent, and some of the more recent positions taken seem to indicate a return to the simplistic messages and priorities of the failed policies of the past.READ MORE...
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the CouncilEuropean Commission COM (2011) 689/2
October 25, 2011
With the Lisbon Treaty now in place, the European response to drugs needs to be strong and decisive, addressing both drug demand and drug supply. New legislation involving the European Parliament, and implemented by the Member States, will be subject to the scrutiny by the European Commission and ultimately the Court of Justice of the European Union.
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