European drug policy is based on a balanced approach that deals with both the supply and demand for illicit drugs. The need to scale up the monitoring of illicit drug supply in Europe is a key component of the EU drugs action plan 2009–12 (1). In this light, the European Commission and the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) are joining forces in Lisbon this week (22–23 November) to organise the Second European conference on drug supply indicators (2). The event is organised with the active participation of Europol.
Building on the results of the first conference on this theme, held in Brussels in October 2010 (3), this week’s event represents the final stage of a process to develop European indicators for monitoring drug markets, crime and supply reduction.
Over 100 European and international experts will gather at the by-invitation conference. Among them will be: law-enforcement officers, forensic scientists, criminologists, national data-collection specialists, economists, policy analysts and technical staff of EU and international institutions.
The event aims to achieve technical consensus on a clear conceptual framework for information collection; the identification of priority needs; and a realistic implementation plan. It will also identify the elements required for defining a roadmap for moving forward in this area of recognised importance to European drug policy.
The conference will offer the opportunity to: review background material and progress achieved to date; build consensus on the core components needed for each proposed indicator; identify elements for the roadmap to develop the new indicators; identify the structural and human support needed to implement the indicators; and reach technical consensus on the way forward.
The conference will provide the necessary technical support to enable the EU institutions to endorse the set of European key indicators in the three areas in question.