1. One of the objectives of the European Union Drugs Strategy 2013-2020 is to further strengthen dialogue and cooperation between the EU and third countries and international organisations on drug issues.

2. The European Action Plan on Drugs 2017-2020 provides specific actions to reach this objective, including:

- to ensure that the policy priorities and the balance between demand and supply reduction are well reflected in policy options and in the programming, implementation and monitoring of external assistance, through projects involving notably alternative development measures; and

- to promote and implement the EU approach to alternative development in cooperation with third countries.

3. The draft Council Conclusions on alternative development aim at supporting these actions. In these Conclusions, alternative development is considered as an important strategy to address the underlying root causes of illicit drug economies through an integrated approach.

4. The draft Council Conclusions were presented and examined during the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG) at its meetings on 5 July, 18-19 September and on 19 October 2018, where the amended text was endorsed by the working party.

5. Consequently, COREPER is invited to adopt the text of the draft Conclusions as set out in annex and to submit it to the Council for adoption.