Meddelelse fra Kommisjonen til Europaparlamentet og Rådet: Mot en sterkere europeisk reaksjon på narkotikamisbruk

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Meddelelse lagt fram av Kommisjonen 25.10.2011

Nærmere omtale

BAKGRUNN (fra kommisjonsmeddelelsen, engelsk utgave)

Illicit drugs [1] are a major threat to the health and safety of individuals and societies in the EU. Europe’s drugs problem is evolving rapidly. New and harmful psychoactive substances [2] are emerging at an unprecedented rate. Drug traffickers change routes and methods for smuggling or for laundering the proceeds of illicit trafficking in drugs.

Drugs particularly affect young people. The use of drugs is one of the major causes of health problems among young people and is one of the most important causes of avoidable death among young Europeans. The 2011 Eurobarometer "Youth attitudes on Drugs" [3] shows that young people can easily obtain even the most harmful drugs within 24 hours. Statistics show that one person dies in Europe every hour because of drug overdose. [4] The use of the internet for selling new drugs and the rapid exchange of information on new drugs through social networks, present new challenges to current drug control policies and to traditional prevention methods.

More needs to be done to address the drug problem. Action should take place where it is more effective, in full respect of subsidiarity. The EU action should be focused where it brings more added value. Member States are unable to contain the spread of drugs without effective cooperation: in the internal market goods, but also crime, move freely. If one Member State bans new psychoactive substances, traders open shops in Member States where the law is more permissive. Uncoordinated clamp-downs may force traffickers to move drug production sites to neighbouring countries or to shift trafficking routes, but these measures cannot disrupt trafficking sustainably.

Over the past 15 years, the European Commission has helped develop a comprehensive and balanced EU response to drugs, in the framework of the EU Drugs Strategy (2005-2012) [5]. The two main EU legal instruments in anti-drugs policy, one on drug trafficking [6] and the other on the emergence of new drugs (new psychoactive substances) [7], date respectively from 2004 and 2005. However, the past few years have brought fresh challenges: new ways of trafficking drugs and chemicals used for their manufacture ("drug precursors"), the rapid emergence of new drugs and innovative distribution channels for these new substances.

In the 2010-2014 Stockholm Action Plan [8] the European Commission committed itself to measures reinforcing protection against serious and organised crime. With the Lisbon Treaty now in place, the European response to drugs needs to be strong and decisive, addressing both drug demand and drug supply. New legislation involving the European Parliament, and implemented by the Member States, will be subject to the scrutiny by the European Commission and ultimately the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The Commission is committed to lend fresh impetus to the EU anti-drugs policy. In its proposed Budget for Europe 2020 [9] the Commission pledges financial support to meet future challenges posed by drugs. The EU budget should focus on funding those actions that have clear added value, which include: tackling new drugs, developing innovative practices on prevention or treatment and cross-border law enforcement cooperation and training.

1 Illicit drugs are those psychoactive substances for which the unlicensed cultivation, production, trade and possession - other than for medical and scientific purposes - is prohibited.
2 New psychoactive substances are new narcotic or psychotropic drugs which may pose a threat to public health comparable to illicit drugs, and which emerged only recently on the market and are not banned. The large majority of these substances are synthetic.
3 European Commission, Flash Eurobarometer Nr. 330, Youth attitudes on Drugs.
4 EMCDDA, 2010 Annual report on the state of the drugs problem in Europe.
5 The Commission has launched an external evaluation of the EU Drugs Strategy (2005-2012), which will be completed by the end of 2011.
6 Council Framework Decision 2004/757/JHA of 25 October 2004 laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking, OJ L 335, 11.11.2004, pp 8–11.
7 Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances, OJ L 127, 20.5.2005, pp 32–37.
8 The European Council of 10-11 December 2009 adopted the Stockholm Programme, a comprehensive framework on initiatives in justice and home affairs. To translate these political objectives into concrete proposals, the Commission selected a number of key actions for adoption in 2010-2014. COM(2010) 171 final.
9 COM(2011) 500.

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25.10.2011