A set of Council conclusions on improving the monitoring of drug supply in the European Union was adopted by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting in Brussels today (1).
While much progress has been made in the EU in recent years to improve the monitoring of drug demand, drug supply remains an area requiring further analysis. Recalling the conclusions of two European conferences on drug supply indicators in 2010 and 2012 (2), the Council states in this document that accurate, reliable, comparable and high-quality data on drug supply would help ‘assess the drug situation, the dynamics of the illicit drug market, the burden of drug-related crime and the effectiveness of supply-oriented policies’.
In order to obtain sound data in this area, the Council acknowledges the need for key indicators at EU level, developed around a set of sub-indicators (seizures; purity and content; drug prices; drug production facilities dismantled; drug law offences; drug availability in the population; and market size). The paper recommends an approach which builds on existing data-collection and reporting structures and ensures that activities are cost-effective, realistic, feasible and deliver clear value at EU level.
The EMCDDA is called upon to work with Europol, the Reitox network and other relevant EU networks on improving data collection in this area, supported by its reference group on drug supply indicators (set up in 2013).
Member States are invited to collaborate with the European Commission, the EMCDDA and Europol with a view to improving the comparability and quality of data collected in the area of drug supply, as well as submitting available datasets to the agencies in a timely way, using existing reporting tools and channels.
The need to scale up the monitoring of illicit drug supply in Europe is an important component of the current EU drugs strategy (2013–20). The strategy sets a priority for the EU to work towards more effective policies in the field of drug supply reduction, by reinforcing policy evaluation and analysis to improve the understanding of drug markets, drug-related crime and the effectiveness of drug-related law enforcement responses.
(2) Organised by the European Commission and the EMCDDA with the active involvement of Europol: Monitoring illicit drug supply in Europe and Second European conference on drug supply indicators.