Frattini zoekt samenwerking met maatschappelijke organisatie bij bestrijding van drugs (en)
There are up to two million problem drug users in the European Union and around 8000 people die of a drugs overdose every year. Drug use is at historically high levels and remains a threat to the entire international community.
To confront this challenge the Commission has organised in Brussels a two-day conference (26-27 January 2006) on "Civil Society and Drugs. The number of participants attending the meeting, over 140, reflects the interest of civil society in working together with the Commission on drugs issues. There are representatives not only of European NGO networks but also from voluntary organisations in 16 Member States, 4 Accession and Candidate Countries, and Norway.
"The EU's response to these worrying trends is ever closer European Cooperation, and this must include civil society", said Vice-President of the Commission Franco Frattini today opening the conference. The conference is a forum to discuss ways of improving communication with civil society on drug issues at EU level. The voluntary sector in Europe plays an important part in the drugs field, working at regional and local level delivering services mainly in the area of demand reduction, including education and prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
As one of the key objectives of the EU Drugs Action Plan (2005-2008 (cfr IP/05/791) is to strengthen the involvement of civil society in EU drugs policy development and evaluation, the Commission will also publish a Green Paper on drugs and civil society in the EU, in 2006.