The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
has great pleasure in presenting its sixth Annual report on the
state of the drugs problem in the European Union. The main purpose
of the report is to help guide policy-making at EU, national and
This report presents an up-to-date picture of
the drug situation in the EU and highlights new trends and developments.
In addition to the general overview, the report addresses some key
issues - cocaine, infectious diseases and synthetic drugs - in more
detail. It also provides a general overview of the situation in
the central and east European countries.
This year, the improvement in the quality and
comparability of data produced by Member States is significant.
Nevertheless, it is essential to maintain efforts in all Member
States not only to enhance the comparability of data at EU level
in all areas but also to ensure that these data are produced regularly.
This leads us to the very important issue of harmonising
data which must be rapidly achieved to ensure that the information
on drugs at EU level becomes more reliable and comparable than it
is now. To facilitate this process, the EMCCDA has produced guidelines
for the standardised implementation in the EU of its five key epidemiological
indicators. In the coming year, the Member States will play a key
role in ensuring the full implementation of these standardised indicators
at national level.
It is of particular note that the EU strategy
on drugs and its follow-up action plan (2000-04) highlight information
and evaluation as key priorities. Indeed, collecting and analysing
information forms a preliminary step in assessing the impact of
any action. The EU action plan also emphasises the importance of
drawing on the different sources of information available in the
European Union - in particular the EMCDDA and Europol.
The EMCDDA is working intensively to fulfil its
key information role. It has fine tuned its 2001-03 work programme
to align it with the six priority targets of the EU strategy on
drugs. The Centre is also contributing to the process of evaluating
the impact of the EU action plan and has worked with its national
focal points and with Europol and its national drugs units to conceive
appropriate tools for producing two snapshots composed of a set
of variables adapted to the six priority targets of the EU strategy.
The first snapshot will show the situation and
responses in place in 1999 prior to the adoption of the EU action
plan and will provide a baseline against which the progress achieved
at the end of the plan in 2004 can be measured. The second snapshot
will show the situation and responses in place in 2004 on the basis
of information available from the same set of variables.
All of these steps will go some way to fulfilling
the EMCDDA's main challenge - that of providing policy-makers with
a solid knowledge base for informed drug-policy planning.
Estievenart, Executive Director
The EMCDDA would like to thank the following for
their help in producing this report:
the heads of the Reitox national focal points
and their staff;
the services within each Member State that collected
the raw data for this report;
the Members of the Management Board and the
Scientific Committee of the EMCDDA;
the European Parliament, the Council of the
European Union - in particular its Horizontal Working Party on
Drugs - and the European Commission;
the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe,
the United Nations International Drug Control Programme, the World
Health Organisation, Europol,
Interpol, the World Customs Organisation and
the Centre for the Epidemiological Monitoring of AIDS;
the Translation Centre for Bodies of the European
Union and the Office for Official Publications of the European
Andrew Haig and Associates, graphic design and