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7th Mar 2021

Four countries want less prescriptive EU drugs policy

  • Drugs in the EU- more focus on care and prevention? (Photo: www.freeimages.co.uk)

Four EU member states will today (10 May) propose a new EU drugs strategy that is less rigid and more focussed on care, according to the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

The Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and the UK are set to unveil their proposals at a closed conference between EU member states in Dublin.

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The conference is intended to lay the groundwork for the development of a new EU Drugs Strategy for 2005-2010.

In the four countries' proposals, prevention, care and reliable information on health risks are key aspects. The countries want less emphasis to lie on repression.

The current EU drugs strategy, agreed between member states in 1999, particularly stresses the need for a reduction of the use of drugs.

Dutch liberalism

However, the Netherlands is keen to rally support for its own more liberal ideas on drugs policy.

It wants an agreement over a new EU drugs strategy to be reached under its EU presidency, which starts in July.

Two Dutch research institutes have been involved in writing the new proposals.

Maurice Gallà, a contributor to the report working for the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, said: "Up until now, the drugs problem was mostly discussed in Europe in terms of criminal law".

"This is clearly starting to change".

The other three countries involved in developing the plans hold the EU presidency just before and after the Dutch - Ireland with the current presidency, and Luxembourg and the UK following in 2005.

But the new drugs strategy has to be agreed by all 25 EU member states.

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