Home > EU action plan on drugs 2017 – 2020.

European Commission. (2017) EU action plan on drugs 2017 – 2020. Brussels: Council of the European Union. 2017/C 215/02.

PDF (EU action plan on drugs 2017 – 2020)

External website: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri...

The use of illicit drugs and the misuse of drugs generally, is a major problem for individuals, families and communities across Europe. Apart from the health and social implications of drug misuse, the illicit drugs market constitutes a major element of criminal activity across European society and, indeed, on a global level. 

In December 2012, the Council adopted the EU Drugs Strategy for 2013-2020. The Strategy aims to contribute to a reduction in drug demand and drug supply within the EU. It also aims to reduce the health and social risks and harms caused by drugs through a strategic approach that supports and complements national policies, that provides a framework for coordinated and joint actions and that forms the basis and political framework for EU external cooperation in this field. This will be achieved through an integrated, balanced and evidence-based approach. 

This EU Drugs Action Plan, like the EU Drugs Strategy, is based on the fundamental principles of EU law and it upholds the founding values of the Union — respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, solidarity, the rule of law and human rights. It is also based on the UN Conventions that provide the international legal framework to address, inter alia, the use of illicit drugs, as well as on the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.


The Plan sets out the Actions that will be implemented to achieve the objectives of the Strategy. Actions are set out under the two policy areas of the Strategy:

  • drug demand reduction, and
  • drug supply reduction, 

and the three cross-cutting themes of the Strategy:

  • coordination,
  • international cooperation, and
  • information, research, monitoring and evaluation. 

Actions are aligned to objectives of the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020. In drawing up the actions, account was taken of the need to be evidence-based, scientifically sound, realistic, time-bound, available and measurable with a clear EU relevance and added value. This Action Plan indicates timetables, responsible parties, indicators and data collection/assessment mechanisms.


Based on existing reporting mechanisms, a number of over-arching indicators are set out in Annex I. These facilitate the measurement of the overall effectiveness of this EU Drugs Action Plan and do not involve an additional reporting burden. A number of these are referenced, as appropriate, across the Plan. Furthermore, throughout the Plan, indicators are set out that draw on programme, evaluative and other data sources. Utilisation of these indicators is dependent on data collection processes in each Member State or at EU institution level. 

In line with the Strategy stipulation that its detailed implementation should be set out in two consecutive Action Plans, the first Action Plan implementing the current drugs strategy was adopted in 2013 and expired in 2016. In 2016, an external mid-term assessment of the EU Drugs Strategy and the implementation of the EU Drugs Action Plan 2013-2016 was completed. The evaluation concluded that most of the actions foreseen in this Action Plan were concluded or in progress. The results of the evaluation also demonstrated the need for the second Action Plan to implement the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020, which should be the updated version of the EU Action Plan on Drugs 2013-2016. The EU Drugs Action Plan 2017-2020 takes into account the results of this evaluation and the major changes in drug situation and policies since the adoption of the last Action Plan.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Guideline, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco), Cannabis, CNS depressants / Sedatives, CNS stimulants, Cocaine, Inhalents and solvents, Opioid, New psychoactive substance
Intervention Type
Treatment method, Prevention, Harm reduction, Crime prevention, Education and training, Rehabilitation/Recovery, Screening / Assessment
July 2017
Identification #
2017/C 215/02
38 p.
Council of the European Union
Corporate Creators
European Commission
Place of Publication

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