This month, France took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU with the motto ‘Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging’. Over the next six months, the country will lead work at all levels of the Council, building cooperation, agreement and solidarity between EU Member States.
In the field of drugs, France now chairs the Council’s Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG), with six meetings scheduled with the EU Member States and additional dialogues on drugs planned with international partners (including the United States, China and Brazil). The HDG will be presided over by Ms Laura d’Arrigo, Diplomatic Counsellor at the French Inter-ministerial Mission for Combatting Drugs and Addictive Behaviours and former Chair of the EMCDDA Management Board.
The HDG is responsible for leading and managing the Council's work in the drugs domain and carries out legislative and general policy work in the areas of supply reduction and demand reduction. Its main goals are to: develop EU legislation, strategies, action plans and other relevant documents in the drugs field; exchange information between EU Member States and with third countries on national policies; and coordinate measures taken by Member States both in Europe and beyond.
Continuing the work of the outgoing Slovenian Presidency — and based on the EU drugs strategy for 2021–25 — France will have as one of its main objectives discussion on the European Commission’s proposal for a new and stronger mandate for the EMCDDA. It will also stimulate further reflection on combatting cocaine trafficking, the impact of drug production on the environment and the drug phenomenon in the internet era.
Finally, France will lead the EU and its Member States at the 65th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which will take place in Vienna from 14–18 March 2022.
The current French Presidency, running from 1 January to 30 June 2022, is the thirteenth held by France since 1959.