Fight against drugs
The fight against drugs involves various activities, geared mainly to preventing addiction and combating illicit trafficking. The specific legal basis for European Union action depends on the type of measure undertaken.
Combating illicit drug trafficking has been clearly identified by the Treaty of Amsterdam as an objective under the new Title VI of the Treaty on European Union, and thus falls within the scope of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
As far as preventing drug addiction is concerned, that aspect is covered by Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), which stipulates that "the Union shall complement the Member States' action in reducing drugs-related health damage, including information and prevention".
In December 2004, the European Council approved a European drugs strategy for the period 2005-12, comprising two action plans for the periods 2005-08 and 2008-12.
The fight against illicit drug trafficking is led by Europol's "Drugs" Unit, an intelligence unit which facilitates police and customs cooperation between the Member States.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, based in Lisbon, is responsible for providing the Community and its Member States with objective, reliable and comparable information giving an overview of the drugs and drug addiction phenomenon and its consequences.