EU drugs strategy (2005-2012)
The EU drugs strategy for the period 2005–2012 was endorsed by the European Council of 16–17 December 2004. This new strategy builds on the final evaluation of the 2000–2004 EU drugs strategy and action plan on drugs (COM (2004) 707 final) and on Europol and EMCDDA contributions in this context (Snapshots 1999-2004 and thematic papers). The strategy aims to provide added value to national drug strategies in the EU while respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality set out in the Treaties.
Confirming the EU’s integrated, multidisciplinary and balanced approach to drugs combining demand and supply reduction, the strategy focuses on these two policy fields as well as on two cross-cutting themes: ‘International cooperation’ and ‘Research, information and evaluation’. It also emphasises the importance of making optimal use of existing legal and information instruments and the need to ensure adequate consultation with a broad group of partners (e.g. scientific centres, drug professionals, representative NGOs, civil society and local communities).
The eight-year strategy will form the umbrella for two consecutive four-year EU action plans on drugs. As was the case under the previous strategy, evaluation will be a top priority.
In this light, the strategy foresees:
annual progress reviews by the European Commission on the state of implementation of activities set out in the action plans;
an impact assessment in 2008 (with a view to proposing a second action plan for the period 2009–2012);
a final overall evaluation of the EU drugs strategy and action plans in 2012.
On 15 February 2005, following consultation with the EMCDDA, Europol and other partners, the Commission adopted, and sent for debate to the European Parliament and the Council, a proposal for an EU action plan on drugs (2005–2008). This action plan covers the four political priority domains of the new strategy (demand reduction, supply reduction, international cooperation and research, information and evaluation). The proposed text is set out in the form of a table detailing the actions and their associated timetables, actors and potential assessment tools or indicators.
The Council endorsed this action plan in its final form in June 2005.