A joint EU drugs report released by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Europol describes a market “which is increasingly dynamic, innovative and quick to react to challenges and one which requires an equally dynamic, innovative and agile response across Europe”. The repercussions on EU Member States and Norway amount to between 6,300 and 8,400 drug-induced deaths every year.

The EU Drugs Action Plans (2005-2012) have been successful insofar as they have reduced drugrelated harm such as HIV/AIDS infections and drug-related deaths. However, an evaluation of the Action Plan (2005-2008) by the European Commission itself stated that “drug use at EU level had remained high, despite stabilisation or a small decline of the use of some illicit drugs”. The Commission’s new agenda prioritises better data collection from Member States, innovative approaches to fighting illicit drug trafficking and misuse, addressing the phenomenon of legal highs and developing early detection and intervention schemes. It will work jointly with the EMCDDA, Europol and Eurojust to fight drug trafficking and consumption in Europe in the years to come.

With the launch of the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020, hopes are high that a renewed commitment to address the gaps in capacity building across the EU will have a positive impact.

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