Home > Is the 'fight against drug abuse' at EU level adding value. Flash Eurobarometer report

Pike, Brigid (2009) Is the 'fight against drug abuse' at EU level adding value. Flash Eurobarometer report. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 30, Summer 2009 , pp. 4-5.

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Within the EU, Irish citizens are among those most concerned about the drugs issue and most supportive of EU-level action in relation to drugs. However, Irish citizens are also among those who do not see the added value of the actions being taken at EU level compared to those being taken at national level. They are also among those not entirely satisfied with the EU's communications regarding its fight against drugs.

 These findings were reported in a Flash Eurobarometer report on a survey of awareness among EU citizens of key policies in the Freedom, Security and Justice area, published in January 2009.1 The aim of the survey was to examine the level of concern that EU citizens feel about policies in the Freedom, Security and Justice area, the amount of support for EU-level actions in that area, and citizens' opinions as to whether the EU should be communicating its policies more efficiently.
 
 Level of concern
The survey results showed that a majority of respondents feel concerned about each of the nine policy areas covered in the survey. Primarily, the interviewees are concerned about the fight against organised crime and terrorism and against drug abuse (both 80%). Concern about the fight against drug abuse is highest in southern European countries - Cyprus, Portugal, Malta, Greece and Spain (between 91% and 95%). In Ireland nine out of 10 citizens say they are concerned about the drugs issue.
 
 Support for EU-level action
EU citizens largely feel that EU-level actions add the most value in the fight against organised crime and terrorism (72%), and then in the fight against drug abuse and the promotion and protection of fundamental rights, including children's rights (both 65%). Contrary to this overall pattern, citizens of  Luxembourg and Portugal believe that the fight against drug abuse benefits more than the fight against organised crime and terrorism from actions taken at EU level compared to those at national level (both 76%; 11 percentage points above the EU average). They are followed by citizens from Spain (74%), Sweden and Belgium (73%), and Ireland (72%).
 
Citizens' level of concern and support for EU-level action
Ireland is among the top five countries whose citizens combine concern about the issue and support EU-level action in the fight against organised crime and terrorism (71%), in the fight against drug abuse (67%), and in the protection of fundamental rights (71%). At the same time, 19% of Irish citizens say they are concerned about the fight against drug abuse but do not see value being added by actions being taken at EU level compared to the national level alone.
 
 Views on efficiency of communication of policies to EU citizens
Overall, three-quarters of respondents think the EU should improve its dissemination of information on its policies and actions with regard to the fight against organised crime and terrorism (78%), the fight against drug abuse (76%) and the promotion and protection of fundamental rights, including children's rights (75%). The highest proportions of citizens not completely satisfied with the EU's communication in the area of the fight against drug abuse are to be found in Greece, Ireland and Portugal, with 88%, 86% and 85% of respondents, respectively, seeing the need for better communication.
 
1. Gallup Organization (2009) Flash Eurobarometer 252: Awareness of key-policies in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice. Brussels: European Commission. Retrieved on 9 April 2009 at www.ec.europa.eu/public_opinion. The fieldwork was carried out between 5 and 9 September 2008. Over 27,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 years and over were interviewed in the 27 EU member states. Approximately 1,000 interviews were carried out in each country, predominantly via fixed telephone lines using WebCATI (web-based computer assisted telephone interviewing). To correct for sampling disparities, a post-stratification weighting of the results was implemented, based on important socio-demographic variables. Details on the survey methodology are included in the Annex of the report. The policies surveyed included immigration policy, asylum policy, the exchange of police and judicial information between member states, the fight against organised crime and terrorism, the fight against drugs abuse, the control of the EU's external borders, the promotion and protection of fundamental rights, including children's rights, and the improvement of access to justice.
Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 30, Summer 2009
Date:2009
Page Range:pp. 4-5
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 30, Summer 2009
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on drugs and alcohol > Prohibition (Drugs and alcohol public policy)
VA Geographic area > Europe
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Political process > Public opinion

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