The proposals to strengthen the European Union’s ability to respond to new psychoactive substances used as alternatives to illicit drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy (IP/13/837 and MEMO/13/790) made important progress today. They were backed in the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) (51 in favour, 4 against).The new rules proposed by the Commission will equip the EU with a quicker and smarter system to help protect more than 2 million people in Europe who take pills or powders sold to them as ‘legal’.

"Today's vote is good news. Legal highs are not legal: they are lethal", said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner. "Drugs don't stop at national borders. In a borderless internal market, we need common EU rules to tackle legal highs. More and more young people are put at risk through the growing number of these dangerous substances. We have to be quicker and we have to be cleverer in our reaction. I would like to thank the rapporteurs, Jacek Protasiewicz and Teresa Jiménez-Becerril for their speedy work on this important file. I hope we can make further swift progress in the European Parliament and in the Council now."

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