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FIBGAR / Articles  / Progress in the fight against illicit drugs, from a human rights perspective

Progress in the fight against illicit drugs, from a human rights perspective

Yesterday, July 2, the European Union Drugs Agency officially started its activities in Lisbon, replacing the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, which has been operating in Lisbon since 1995.

This follows the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2023/1322 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2023 on the European Medicines Agency (EUDA) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1920/2006, which revises the mandate and name of the Centre and formally establishes the Agency. Following an external evaluation of the Observatory, the European Commission requested in January 2022 a broader and more proactive mandate for the agency to help it address the new challenges posed by an increasingly complex drug phenomenon and the emergence of new potent substances. The EU legislative process concluded in June 2023, with the Observatory beginning a one-year transition to become the European Union Drugs Agency.

With new tools and competences, the Agency will play a key role in strengthening the EU’s response to the new health and security challenges posed by illicit drugs. In carrying out its tasks, the Agency will ensure full respect for fundamental rights and data protection rules, and will adopt an evidence-based, integrated, balanced and multidisciplinary approach to the drugs phenomenon.

The initiative is part of the EU Drugs Strategy 2021- 2025, which aims to protect and improve the well-being of society and individuals, safeguard and promote public health, provide a high level of safety and well-being for the general population and extend health literacy. It adopts an empirically contrasted, integrated, balanced and multidisciplinary approach to the drug phenomenon at national, international and EU level.

According to the EU Drug Markets Analysis 2024, a document published by Europol and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EUDA), the drugs available in Europe are increasingly varied and of better quality, and in recent years the European market has seen an unprecedented increase in the availability of illicit drugs.

Due to its geographical location, Spain is a strategic country on the route for the entry of drugs throughout Europe.  Operation Nécora represented the first of the major anti-drug operations carried out in our country, which was possible thanks to the collective effort of multiple police, prosecutors and civil servants. It was undoubtedly of enormous importance for the inhabitants of Galicia, then the gateway for drugs into Spain and Europe.

Almost twenty-five years later there is still much to be done to put an end to this scourge of global dimensions that impacts society from different areas, including the corruption of democratic institutions and the suffering of those who are real victims of one of the most profitable and at the same time most destructive illicit business of society and the individual.

From FIBGAR, we adhere to the “Declaration of Oviedo“, an initiative promoted by Proyecto Hombre, which promotes ten proposals to integrate prevention in drug policies.