Exchanging strategic and technical information in the areas of drug legislation and supply was among the pledges made today in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and the EU judicial cooperation unit (Eurojust). At an official ceremony in The Hague, EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz and President of Eurojust Michèle Coninsx reaffirmed their agencies’ commitment to strengthening action against illicit drugs and related crime in the EU.
Today’s MoU focuses on drug-related matters relevant to judicial cooperation — including drug supply, drug supply reduction and legislation — and will be implemented through joint activities, decided on the basis of the partners’ respective work programmes. The MoU also reflects the focus of the 2014–2017 EU Policy Cycle for organised and serious international crime, under which the Council of the EU prioritises specific objectives to address the trafficking of synthetic drugs, cocaine and heroin.
The MoU will enhance the organisations’ already productive cooperation, helping them work together to collect, analyse and disseminate relevant data; pool technical expertise; establish joint projects; and ensure the optimal use of resources and information.
The EMCDDA and Eurojust have worked closely together since 2007 and share a common interest in the enforcement and implementation of drug trafficking laws across Europe. Since that time, Eurojust has participated in the EMCDDA annual meetings of legal experts and contributed to the EMCDDA–Europol EU Drug Markets report: a strategic analysis, published in January 2013. The EMCDDA contributed to a strategic seminar on drug trafficking, organised by Eurojust and the Polish Presidency in Krakow in 2011, and will take part in Eurojust’s strategic meeting on drug trafficking in The Hague in September.
Eurojust is highly active in the fight against drug trafficking, having registered 502 cases over the last two years — more than with any crime type except fraud. It has also been involved in all projects under the Council’s European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) in the area of drug trafficking.
A crucial area of cooperation between the organisations will be the collection of policy relevant data on drug supply. The EMCDDA was tasked in 2009 with establishing key indicators in this area. Following Council conclusions on improving the monitoring of drug supply in the EU (November 2013), the EMCDDA will work with its partners to improve data collection in this area, supported by its reference group on drug supply indicators, set up in 2013. Eurojust is expected to be a key player in this group.