Parliamentary question by Maurizio Turco (TDI) to the Commission and reply given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission




Parliamentary questions
WRITTEN QUESTION P-2666/01
by Maurizio Turco (TDI) to the Commission
(24 September 2001)

Subject: Collaboration between the UNDCP and the European Commission


The collaboration between the UNDCP, the European Commission and the International Criminal Police Organisation (ICPO-Interpol) in south-eastern Europe (Bulgaria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Romania) was officially launched in February 1999. According to the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, "the UNDCP-PHARE programme, which is also funded by Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, focuses on strengthening land, sea and airport border controls by training law enforcement personnel and supplying drug detection equipment. Activities include the development of intelligence gathering, analysis and criminal investigation systems and increased controlled deliveries across borders. (...) The success of this UNDCP-EC partnership is further evidenced in the way in which the EC has replicated key components of the programme in other planned activities in central Europe, Belarus, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and the southern Caucasus." (Source: http://www.undcp.org/newsletter_2001-06-30_1_page007.html).

On what basis and with what responsibilities is the Commission financing "intelligence gathering" and "controlled deliveries" activities?

Is Europol involved in this programme?

When, on what basis and under what terms was it decided to take part in such activities in central Europe, Belarus, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and the southern Caucasus? Is the Commission involved in similar forms of collaboration in other parts of the world?

P-2666/01EN
Reply given by Mr Patten
on behalf of the Commission
(26 October 2001)


The PHARE and Tacis regulations stipulate that Community aid may be used to finance projects in the field of Justice and Home Affairs, which includes the fight against drug trafficking, among other activities. The Lomé and Cotonou Conventions, for their part, lay down that European Development Fund resources can be used to finance projects to combat drug trafficking.

In this context, the Commission has appraised programmes whose aims include the creation and/or strengthening of Joint Central Units which bring together representatives of the various departments involved in the fight against drug trafficking. One of the purposes of these Central Units is to assemble and analyse information gathered by the departments concerned.

This element can be found in five programmes:

(a) the Balkans programme, which covers Bulgaria, Romania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM);
(b) the maritime cooperation programme which provides training for National Joint Headquarters staff in 12 Caribbean states belonging to the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group;
(c) and (d) the SCAD (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) and BUMAD (Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova) programmes, which are currently in their start-up phase, and include plans for training projects and assistance with access to the Interpol system;
(e) within the framework of the 2000 PHARE Multi-Beneficiary Drugs Programme, the PHARE Regional Drug Law Enforcement Project will address the issue of "information gathering" and "controlled deliveries" in 10 Central and Eastern European candidate countries (CEECs).

Controlled deliveries are an investigative technique, and as such form part of the Community acquis. They figure in both the Balkan Programme and the future PHARE Regional Drug Law Enforcement Project.

Europol has been informed of the existence of these Community programmes, but its mandate does not allow it to play an active part in them.