EU to help producers combat drugs

The Justice and Interior Ministers of the 15 Member States of the European Union decided last weekend to adopt new measures to fight drug trafficking. The measures were announced at the EU meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Countries such as Afghanistan will be encouraged to find alternative means of subsistence to opium in a policy described by a joint statement by EU ministers as “continuity, coherence and efficiency”.

The Danish Justice Minister declared that “We cannot give up this fight or accept that a part of our population becomes dependent on drugs for the rest of their lives”. She added that it is necessary to take all care with drug addicts, even in prisons. Her declarations come at a time when HIV infections among prison populations are rising due to the practice of shared needles and homosexual relations without condoms.

Coupled with the internal policy of attacking drug addiction through education programmes and treatment, the 15 will also help countries such as Afghanistan to concentrate on alternative sources of income. Apart from this, the EU will develop commercial relations further with the Balkan countries, from where a great part of Europe’s drugs enter, mainly from Turkey and Albania.

The problem became much worse after NATO opened the gate for the Albanian mafia, posing as KLA freedom fighters, to take positions which had been denied to them by an aggressive Serbia under Slobodan Milosevic.

Antonio Vitorinho, the EU Justice Commissioner, described drugs as “a key issue” and “a source of great preoccupation”.


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