On 30 and 31 October, Member of the European Parliament Caterina Chinnici (Italy, S&D) paid an official visit to the EMCDDA on behalf of the EP’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).
Over two half days of meetings and discussions, Ms Chinnici exchanged views with EMCDDA experts on the latest developments in the drug situation in Europe and on the challenges the agency is currently facing in its everyday work. She also met with the Deputy General Director of SICAD Manuel Cardoso.
The meeting was chaired by Fabian Pereyra, Head of the Executive Office at the EMCDDA, who presented the agency’s activities and contribution to a healthier and more secure Europe and shared the results of the 2018 external evaluation of the EMCDDA.
MEP Chinnici was accompanied by two political advisors — Aurélien Mazuy (S&D) and Lide Iruin Ibarzabal (GUE/NGL) — and by two representatives of the LIBE Committee Secretariat — Moira Andreanelli and Angela Hrincescu. The Head of the European Parliament Information Office in Portugal, Pedro Valente da Silva, also participated in the visit.
‘Although less present in the public debate today than they were a couple of decades ago, drugs have not disappeared from our societies’, commented Ms Chinnici.
The MEP continued: ‘Illicit drug trafficking continues to be one of the most profitable criminal markets in Europe, with established and new substances threatening the health of a large part of the European population. Available data suggest that critical changes may be in progress in the drugs market — which is developing also online — and in drug use trends in European countries and worldwide. Within this context, I very much appreciate the commitment of the EMCDDA, under the lead of its Director Alexis Goosdeel, to provide factual and objective information to support evidence-based decisions at EU and national level’.
Recent data from the 2019 European Drug Report were presented during the meeting and an exchange of views took place on international drug-related policy challenges, mainly relating to cannabis.