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Connolly, Johnny (2011) First European conference on drug supply indicators. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 36, Winter 2010 , p. 12.

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The European Commission and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in association with Europol, convened the first European conference on drug supply indicators in Brussels in October. The conference came about as a result of ‘major investments by the European Commission in research into drug markets and how to control them’.1 

The purpose of the conference was to launch a process for designing a new European strategy for monitoring drug markets, drug-related crime and drug supply reduction. The specific aims were to achieve a consensus on a process for scaling up existing approaches and practices and to establish the basis for a network of both operational and scientific experts that will guide the future conceptualisation and implementation of European drug supply indicators.
 
The event gathered, for the first time at European level, around 120 European and international experts, such as law enforcement officers, forensic scientists, criminologists, national data-collection specialists, data analysts, economists, policy/intelligence analysts and technical staff of EU and international institutions. The objective of the conference was to devise a plan to implement the information tools needed to understand these key aspects of the drugs phenomenon.
 
The event is expected to make an important contribution to achieving the objectives of the EU drugs action plan (2009–2012) which calls for the design of standard European indicators on drug supply issues by 2012,2 while also supporting the EMCDDA in its mission to develop indicators that can paint an overall picture of Europe's drugs phenomenon.
 
The EMCDDA news release1 quotes Director Wolfgang Götz:
The last two years have seen unprecedented interest, both technically and politically, in improving the evidence base for understanding issues of drug supply. It is now time to exploit this momentum and put in place the information tools needed to better understand this area of key importance for European drug policy. This is a prerequisite to designing more efficient interventions in future against drug trafficking and drug-related crime.
  
The conference heard a range of presentations on the following core themes:
·         Current state of the art in data availability and reporting tools;
·         Structural and practical barriers to data collection and how they could be overcome;
·         New approaches and potential monitoring options;
·         Possible new developments within the existing European monitoring framework. 
 
In 2011, technical groups supported by the EMCDDA will take forward the work initiated at the conference. This will result in a concept paper and roadmap for implementing one indicator in each of the conference's three thematic areas (drug markets, drug-related crime and supply reduction). These documents will ultimately be presented to a second consensus meeting to be held in Lisbon in 2011. Conference material is available on the EMCDDA website at www.emcdda.europa.eu/events/supply-indicators.
  
1. EMCDDA news release, available at www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2010/9

2. Action 67 of the EU drugs action plan reads: ‘To develop key-indicators for the collection of policy-relevant data on drug-related crime, illegal cultivation, drug markets and supply reduction interventions and to develop a strategy to collect them’. The plan is available at www.emcdda.europa.eu/html.cfm/index66221EN.html

Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 36, Winter 2010
Date:2011
Page Range:p. 12
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 36, Winter 2010
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on drugs and alcohol > Supply reduction policy
VA Geographic area > Europe

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