Open letter on the proposed EU Drugs Agenda

A sign-on letter of the International Drug Policy Consortium’s (IDPC) members, raising our very serious concerns regarding the new EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs, recently published by the European Commission was prepared and sent to the German presidency of the EU Horizontal Working Party on Drugs.

We have serious concerns regarding both the process for its development as well as with the substance of the document and urge the German Presidency to propose to the EU Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG) that this draft cannot be accepted, and to outline an appropriate and inclusive strategic development process for the next EU drugs strategy.

The new EU Agenda proposes a drastic and negative change in EU drug policies that could also end up impacting funding priorities and national policies.

  • It puts a disproportionate focus on supply control,
  • It deprioritises public health and harm reduction,
  • It reduces the role of civil society and people who use drugs
  • And it risks weakening EU support for balanced, evidence-based, and rights-compliant drug policies in global drug debates.

The 2021-25 EU Drugs Agenda appears to be the result of a hasty, opaque and non-participatory policy-making process, and represents a drastic departure from agreed EU policies. It also comes within a deeply troubling stigmatising frame, as it was published in a press release together with EU strategies on child abuse and firearm trafficking.

The key flaws in the draft Agenda we identified include:

  • Losing the balanced approach
  • Deprioritising human rights and public health
  • Dropping support for key international documents
  • Reducing the space for civil society and people who use drugs
  • Weakening the external dimensions of drug policy
  • Deprioritising scientific evidence
  • A stigmatising document

The letter has now been sent to Germany as the Council Presidency, inviting them to take political leadership and encourage the HDG to reject the draft proposed by the European Commission.

An advocacy campaign follows. The first event is the meeting of EU Member States on Wednesday 9 September 2020! We encourage you to share the letter with your government contacts, so that they are aware of our concerns ahead of this important meeting.

The letter is available following this link>>>. Don’t hesitate to distribute it freely.

 

Is the new EU Drugs Agenda a disappointment?

The European Commission has published draft of its new EU drug strategy (now called the Drugs Agenda), which is part of a wider Security Union strategy entitled “Delivering on a Security Union: initiatives to fight child sexual abuse, drugs and illegal firearms.”

Péter Sárosi, the executive director of the Rights Reporter Foundation, sees this document as “a disappointment for civil society organisations that have been advocating for a sensible, balanced approach in drug policies. He listed 4 reasons for this statement:

  1. War on Drugs language & framework
  2. Not reflecting some key evaluation findings – and the reality
  3. Lack of measurable indicators
  4. Limited civil society involvement

Read the full article at Drug Reporter following this link>>>.