Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European Commission has proposed a stronger role for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), it says in a press release.
The EC wants to strengthen the mandate of the EMCDDA to ensure that the EU Drugs Agency “can play a more important role in identifying and addressing current and future challenges related to illicit drugs in the EU.”
The EC calls for the agency to play a more important international role, monitor addictive use and develop EU-wide prevention campaigns.
The European Commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas , noted that “drug production and drug trafficking have adapted to the disruptions during the pandemic.”
“Now more than ever we need clear, up-to-date, and reliable evidence and analysis capabilities on illicit drugs in the EU,” he stressed, which is why “we are proposing today a stronger mandate for the EU Drugs Agency.”
Schinas declared that the EC would “continue fighting against illicit drug trafficking and addressing the impact of illicit drugs on [the] public health and security of Europeans”, noting that the “reinforced agency” would continue “to be a key partner in this task.”
European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, stated that “drug trafficking remains the largest criminal market in the EU”, citing how organised crime groups fuel corruption.
The EC’s proposal, she said, is intended to provide the EU Drugs Agency with “the tools it needs to monitor closely the evolving drug landscapes, to help fight the damaging effects of drugs and to work effectively with other EU agencies, in particular Europol.”
An expanded mandate would give the agency the authority to issue alerts, develop threat assessments, monitor addictive use of non-illicit substances, build a network of national laboratories, and help develop bloc-wide campaigns aimed at prevention and awareness-raising.
The EU Parliament and the EU Council are scheduled to examine the proposal and adopt it.
The EC points out that estimates indicate that 28.9% of adults in the EU have used an illegal drug at least once during their lives and that the retail value of the illegal drug market now runs to some 30 billion euro annually.