The EU action plan on drugs (2000–2004)
Having examined the proposal of the Commission, the European Council of Santa Maria da Feira endorsed the EU action plan on drugs in June 2000 as a concrete follow-up to the EU drugs strategy (2000-04). The strategy set 11 general aims and six main targets for the EU, and the Action plan lists around 100 specific activities to be implemented by the EU and its Member States by the end of 2004.
The six main targets are:
- to reduce significantly over five years the prevalence of drug use, as well as new recruitment to it, particularly among young users under 18 years of age;
- to reduce substantially over five years the incidence of drug-related health damage (HIV, hepatitis, TBC etc.) and the number of drug-related deaths;
- to increase substantially the number of successfully treated addicts;
- to reduce substantially over five years the availability of illicit drugs;
- to reduce substantially over five years the number of drug-related crimes;
- and to reduce substantially over five years money-laundering and the illicit trafficking of precursors.
Information and evaluation are an integral to the action plan. In both areas the EMCDDA is envisaged as a major contributor.
In June 2001, the Commission published a first Communication on the progress made in the implementation of the EU action plan. The objective of this first Communication, based on contributions from the Commission, the EMCDDA and EUROPOL, was to promote actions in Member States and at EU level to meet the objectives of the Action plan on drugs within the timeframe. The Commission also presented there the method by which it intended to carry out the evaluations of the Drugs strategy and Action plan. In particular, it launched a 'Follow-up table' for the review of progress in the implementation of the Action plan and confirmed recourse to 'Situation snapshots' and Eurobarometer surveys focusing on young people's opinions on drugs.
On 4 November 2002, the Commission adopted a Communication on the mid-term evaluation of the EU Action plan on drugs. This Communication based on contributions from Member States, EMCDDA, Europol and Commission services, gives a clear picture of the level of implementation of activities foreseen in the Action plan. It also provides recommendations to the different stakeholders on the activities that need to be pursued, developed and/or launched at each relevant level.
The Commission proposed the setting up of a steering group for the preparation of the final evaluation of the EU Action plan.
The action plan calls on the EMCDDA and Europol to contribute to developing a structure to facilitate the process of evaluating the impact of the EU strategy on drugs. The EMCDDA and Europol are producing two situation reviews:
- The first review, Baseline 1999, describes the situation and responses in place in 1999 prior to the EU strategy on drugs (2000-2004), based on a set of parameters connected to the six EU targets. This is the baseline against which the progress achieved in 2004 can be measured.
The second review will describe the situation and responses in place in 2004 on the basis of the same set of variables.
The EU action plan on drugs (2000-2004) was endorsed at the Santa Maria da Feira European Council in June. The document is based on the European Union drugs strategy of December 1999 and on the proposal of the Commission.