Tackling illegal drug use in Europe, the role of the EU Lord Hannay

Last week - the House of Lords' European Union Select Committee, in the United Kingdom, published a report on the future European Union strategy on illegal drugs. A European-wide strategy has been in operation in this area since 2000, and the current one is due to be evaluated and its successor drafted during 2012. The report, therefore, represents a timely reflection on the outcome of the preceding strategies and makes important recommendations about the scope of the future strategy.

The formulation of drug policy at the European level remains a controversial area: member states retain control of national drug policy and are divided in their approach towards drug use and drug users. But a guiding role has been apportioned to the European institutions. Evidence about the nature of drug use and the approaches to drug control at the European level is collected and disseminated by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction – or EMCDDA - and is used to inform the drug strategy, which provides the member states with a framework within which to situate their national policies.


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