On 5th December 2019 the Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD) will host a seminar for Members of European Parliament (MEPs), along with other European policy makers on ‘The Future of European Drug Policy – Seminar organised by the Civil Society Forum on Drugs’ at the European Parliament. The seminar is specifically targeted at MEPs that have a clear interest and mandate in the area of drug policy, such as members of the LIBE, DROI and ENVI Committees. Through its legislative, budgetary and political oversight powers, the European Parliament has a critical role to play in policy formation and support, including on key issues related to drug policy.

Historically, the European Parliament has played an active role in the area of drug policy. It was instrumental in the creation of both the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), and the Drugs Prevention and Information Programme (DPIP) which marked the first time that funding was ringfenced for drug-related issues. This programme has existed for the previous two financial frameworks, but is scheduled to end in 2020.

As European policy makers move towards 2020 in a Europe that faces significant political, social and economic challenges, and in the context of global drug policy challenges, this event aims to:

  1. Highlight why drug policy should remain a key priority for Europe and why MEPs and other European policy makers need to keep it on their political agendas, and
  2. Help MEPs navigate the implications of the new phase of global and European drug policy.

With these aims in mind, this event will highlight ongoing challenges in drug policy at European and global levels and provide insight into how civil society can assist policy makers and legislators in tackling these issues. Speakers will provide inputs on the contributions of civil society to the EU and European Commission (EC) on current drug policy issues, and raise awareness of the value of civil society participation – and in particular the CSFD – in drug policy processes. This briefing paper has been prepared for participants to provide background and context to the seminar.