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(2008) Drug policy priorities during the French EU Presidency. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 27, Autumn 2008, p. 25.

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In the work programme for its six-month EU Presidency, between 1 July and 31 December 2008, the French Presidency states with regard to illicit drugs that, within the context of making Europe safer for its citizens: 

… it will be the task of the French Presidency, on the basis of a proposal by the Commission, to bring work on a new EU action plan for the 2009–2012 period to completion. On actions aimed at countries or regions particularly affected by trafficking in narcotics or chemical precursors, it will pay special attention to the Western Mediterranean, where it will propose the creation of an Anti-drugs Coordination Centre, to be known as CECLAD-M. Arrangements for a closer dialogue with Western Africa, which has become a significant transit region for cocaine from South America, will also be explored. 1
 
Under the heading ‘Commitment to youth’, the French Presidency states that it will also pay ‘special attention … to the problem of addiction among young people’.
 
The website of the French government’s inter-ministerial mission against drugs (MILDT) identifies two priorities in the drugs area during the French Presidency: (1) facilitating the negotiation of the new EU drugs action plan, and (2) preparing a unified EU position for the next session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna in March 2009, when the international approach to the drugs issue to succeed the UN’s 10-year action plan 1998–2008, will be worked out. In pursuing these objectives, it hopes to strengthen co-operation with third-world countries in combating drugs, and to explore how to enhance the impact of drug policies and to increase public awareness of the policies.2
 
In line with its two priorities the French government has identified three goals:
 
°          to strengthen the stature and political authority of the Horizontal Drugs Group (HDG), in line with the expectations set out in the EU Dugs Strategy 2005–2012;3
°          to produce an EU drugs action plan 2009–2012 that will have a demonstrable impact across EU member states; and  
°          to have an agreed EU position at the CND session in Vienna in March 2008 that will add value both to Europe’s and to the international community’s drug policies
 
With regard to the HDG and the new action plan, the French will consider the following approaches:
 
°          undertaking a shared analysis on the state of the drugs threat
°          simplifying and narrowing the focus of the new drugs action plan
°          strengthening the judicial component of drug control co-operation between member states and other countries
°          strengthening systems for identification, confiscation, and sharing information on known criminals
°          reviewing the HDG with a view to including alcohol within its purview
°          better informing the public about drugs
°          studying means of spreading primary prevention messages to young people using new media
 
With regard to external relations, the French will seek dialogue with traditional and with new partners. The focus of these dialogues will be on strengthening the profile of the drug problem in Europe and improving the effectiveness of joint actions. 
 
1.  French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (2008) Work programme 1 July–31 December 2008. Retrieved on 19 August 2008 at http://www.ue2008.fr/  
2. This account is based on the information provided on the website of the Mission Interministerielle de Lutte Contre la Drogue et la Toxicomanie (MILDT) at http://www.drogues.gouv.fr/ . The information was retrieved on 19 August 2008. A literal translation in to English of the information is available on the website of the International Drug Policy Consortium http://idpc.net/ . This translation was also retrieved on 19 August 2008.
3. The Horizontal Drugs Group (HDG) is the EU Council’s main technical and policy forum to facilitate joint efforts between member states and the European Commission. It meets about once a month, bringing together representatives from member states and the Commission, with a view to analysing, taking measures on and seeking to co-ordinate the drug-related activities of the EU

 

Item Type
Article
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Policy
Issue Title
Issue 27, Autumn 2008
Date
2008
Page Range
p. 25
Publisher
Health Research Board
Volume
Issue 27, Autumn 2008
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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