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Europe’s Action Plan on Drugs: Cooperation and Collaboration for the Reduction of Demand and Supply

Date: Tuesday, 07 November 2017 10:00 - 16:29

Venue: Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre  |  City: Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium

According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the drug market remains the largest and most dynamic illicit market in the EU. Each year, illicit drugs worth approximately 24 billion Euros are being sold, whilst two in every three organised crime syndicates are involved in drug trafficking. The most popular drug is Cannabis, with over 80 million European citizens having used it at least once. Cocaine and amphetamines are also prominent, being consumed by 17.5 and 12.5 Million Europeans respectively. As the drug marketplace becomes more complex, an increasing number of new psychoactive substances (NPS) can also be found, despite the health risks of such substances remaining largely unknown. With many lawmakers rethinking and even decriminalizing drug policy around the globe; Europe must develop a balanced and coordinated response to tackle the growing dangers of drug contraband.

To tackle these challenges, the European Union set up the EU Drug Strategy 2013-2020 and the EU Action Plan on Drugs 2013-2016, a comprehensive political framework aiming to contribute to a reduction in drug demand and supply, whilst minimizing the health and social risks caused by drugs. Earlier this year, the Commission proposed an updated strategy for 2017-2020, in order to strengthen existing pillars and account for new developments and challenges. National drug strategies implemented by Member States have also been produced to complement these initiatives. With the internet now serving as the main marketplace for illicit drugs, such strategy is also linked to the digital economy and cyber security strategy, with changes being made later this year. Greater national and cross-border collaboration, as well as improved dialogue and data collection, will be needed to ensure that implementation is effective.

Despite efforts, innovation in drug development and new patterns of use mean new challenges for policymakers and public health authorities. There is a need to provide consumers with prevention and rehabilitation responses, and for improved cooperation between drug treatment and sexual health services, to reduce infections and diseases such as HIV. NPS and highly potent synthetic opioids are another growing health threat, with usage and overdoses rising. Drug abuse does not simply harm these users with high mortality rates, but also poses a significant burden to society as a whole, bringing high social and public health costs. In order to stem the flow of illegal substances, minimize risk and eliminate criminal activity, Europe must reform and readjust to the fast-moving pace of change in illicit markets.

This international symposium provides a timely opportunity for practitioners, responsible authorities and stakeholders across Europe to discuss the latest challenges and consider the necessary steps forward to win the fight against illicit drug trafficking and substance abuse. The symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in a thought-provoking topical debate.

Delegates will:

  • Examine the revised 2017-2020 EU framework on illicit drugs and its relationship to national member state strategies and frontline practice
  • Discuss upcoming law enforcement measures promoted at the European level to fight against drug trafficking and criminal activity, including cybercrime
  • Evaluate treatment and rehabilitation measures, collaborative plans and prevention strategies to reduce drug consumption
  • Learn about recent developments and current drug data trends across Europe and the potential impact of policy changes on frontline services
  • Determine successful strategies to respond to new emerging challenges such as rises in NPS and synthetic opioids 
  • Share best practice of successful initiatives and projects in treatment and rehabilitation
  • Build strong and lasting partnerships with diverse groups of stakeholders working in the field of drugs at the national and international level 

Register here#EUevents


020 3137 8630
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Avenue du Boulevard 17
1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium




All Dates

  • Tuesday, 07 November 2017 10:00 - 16:29

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