The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and the European law enforcement organisation, Europol, are set to step up cooperation on drugs and crime following a meeting between the two bodies in Lisbon today.
At a special signing ceremony at the drugs agency, Director s Max-Peter Ratzel (Europol) and Wolfgang Götz (EMCDDA) gave their seal of approval on a document reaffirming their commitment to strengthening action against illicit drugs and crime in the European Union through effective collaboration.
The latest document, which build on an existing ‘Cooperation agreement’ signed by the two bodies on 19 November 2001, was drawn up in the context of recent developments at EU level, including EU enlargement and increased public awareness of the importance of international cooperation on the above issues.
The document specifies that, in particular, the agencies should join forces in the following areas:
- evaluation of the European Union drugs strategy and action plans (e.g. via contributions to various European Commission reports and assessments);
- implementation of the May 2005 Council decision on information exchange, risk assessment and control of new psychoactive substances (e.g. the drafting of risk assessment reports on new substances entering the drug scene); and
- exchange of strategic information of mutual relevance (e.g. on topics such as drug seizures, money laundering, drug prices and purity).
Additional areas of common interest for cooperation may also be explored .
Annexed to the document is a list of concrete actions to be taken by the organisations until 2008. The document stipulates that a joint report of activities be drawn up annually to convey progress.