Parliamentary question by Maurizio Turco (TDI) and Marco Cappato (TDI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

Parliamentary questions
by Maurizio Turco (TDI) and Marco Cappato (TDI) to the Commission
(4 January 2000)

Subject: Five-year EU action plan to combat drugs: information and evaluation

The European Union allocates a considerable amount of funding to the fight against drugs, as is indicated in the Communication from the Commission on a European Union action plan to combat drugs, which gives the figures for 1998. Multiple budget lines are involved, covering more than a single pillar, ranging from prevention to the funding of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, and from the Phare and Tacis programmes to North-South cooperation and cooperation with the countries of Latin America.

While the Commission Communication referred to above sketches an overall picture of EU activity in the fight against drugs, it does not provide more specific information about the individual projects which have been or are to be funded. Moreover, by contrast with the wishes expressed by the European Parliament and with the undertakings given by the Commission itself in the 1995-1999 five-year plan, there is no full and exhaustive evaluation of the preceding five-year action plan.

Will the Commission therefore provide the European Parliament with a brief but detailed picture giving the following information in respect of each budget line involved in the fight against drugs, for previous years and for the current financial year:- the projects which have been funded and the amount of funding received, - the recipients and managers of the funds allocated, - the objectives that it was intended to achieve, - the means deployed to achieve the objectives, - the results actually obtained, - the checks and evaluations of individual projects or programmes carried out by the European Union. Will the Commission also state when it will issue an overall analysis evaluating the projects undertaken as part of the 1995-1999 five-year action plan.

Answer given by Mr Vitorino
on behalf of the Commission
(16 February 2000)

The Commission agrees that evaluation should play an important role in all activities in the field of drugs. In its communication on a European Union action plan to combat drugs (2000-2004)(1) the Commission proposed that external experts should evaluate Community activities during this period and that the Commission should conduct a mid-term review of the action plan which would be presented to the Council and the Parliament.

However, the action plan acknowledged that efforts at the Community level in the period 1995-1999 in the field of evaluation had been insufficient. The Commission is not therefore able to respond fully to the question. Nevertheless, the main programmes to combat drugs have either already been evaluated or are in the process of being evaluated. The Commission sent to the Parliament on 14 October 1999, an interim report on the implementation of the programmes of Community action on the prevention of cancer, AIDS and certain other communicable diseases, and drug dependence within the framework for action in the field of public health (1996-2000)(2) and the final report is now available. The Commission has launched an evaluation to be completed by April 2000 of the OISIN and Falcone programmes, which cover Justice and Home Affairs. The Commission has launched an evaluation of the Community's North/South Cooperation in the fight against drugs and drug addiction since 1991, which should be completed by October 2000.

In addition, the Commission has sent the Parliament the agenda and the working documents for the meetings of the committee of the programme of Community action on the prevention of drug dependence (1996-2000); annual reports on the activities of the OISIN and Falcone programmes, including a description of the projects financed each year, and annual reports in 1996, 1997 and 1998 on the implementation of Council Regulation 2046/97 of 13 October 1997 on North-South cooperation in the campaign against drugs and drug addiction.

More detailed information on these programmes and others that concern drugs are transmitted direct to the Secretariat of the Parliament and to the Honourable Members.