European Union Drug Policy and Alcohol policy
The EU Drugs Strategy provides the overarching political framework and priorities for EU drugs policy identified by Member States and EU institutions, for the period 2013-2020. The framework, aim and objectives of this Strategy will serve as a basis for two consecutive 4 year EU Drugs Action plans. This Drugs Strategy is based first and foremost on the fundamental principles of EU law and, in every regard, upholds the founding values of the Union: respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, solidarity, the rule of law and human rights. It aims to protect and improve the wellbeing of society and of the individual, to protect public health, to offer a high level of security for the general public and to take a balanced, integrated and evidence-based approach to the drugs phenomenon.
During the EU Cyprus Presidency, the Cyprus Anti-drugs Council as the coordinator for the Horizontal Drugs Group was responsible for preparing the draft of the new EU Drug Strategy that once endorsed by the European Council it was then published on the 12th of December 2012.
The objectives of the EU Drugs Strategy are:
- To contribute to a measurable reduction of the demand for drugs, of drug dependence and of drug-related health and social risks and harms;
- To contribute to a disruption of the illicit drugs market and a measurable reduction of the availability of illicit drugs;
- To encourage coordination through active discourse and analysis of developments and challenges in the field of drugs at EU and international level;
- To further strengthen dialogue and cooperation between the EU and third countries and international organisations on drug issues;
- To contribute to a better dissemination of monitoring, research and evaluation results and a better understanding of all aspects of the drugs phenomenon and of the impact of interventions in order to provide sound and comprehensive evidence-base for policies and actions.
The Strategy builds upon the achievements made by the EU in the field of illicit drugs and is informed by an ongoing, comprehensive assessment of the current drug situation in particular that provided by the EMCDDA, while recognizing the need to proactively respond to developments and challenges.
The Strategy is structured around two policy areas; drug demand reduction and drug supply reduction, and three cross-cutting themes; (a) coordination, (b) international cooperation and (c) research, information, monitoring and evaluation. Its two consecutive Action Plans, drafted by corresponding Presidencies in 2013 and 2017, will provide a list of specific actions with a timetable, responsible parties, indicators and assessment tools.
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