EU to launch anti-drug campaign

THE EU’s first drug awareness campaign is to be launched next year.

The campaign, provisionally called Alliance Against Drugs, is due to be rolled out in all member states, including Ireland.

The initiative is being run by the European Commission and is modelled on the commission’s Road Safety Charter, an EU-wide awareness campaign.

Carel Edwards, the head of the European Commission’s drug unit, said the idea was that of new justice commissioner, Jacques Barrot.

Mr Edwards said Mr Barrot oversaw the road safety initiative while transport commissioner and thought the same model could be used in the area of drugs.

“The idea of the Road Safety Charter was to make road users responsible for road safety, rather than a top-down approach. That charter was pretty effective. It actively involved the citizen,” Mr Edwards said.

He said the drugs campaign would not be a Just Say No effort.

“It’s not exactly a prevention or information campaign. It’s about getting all levels of society, the ordinary people, taking an interest in drugs in their immediate environment — at work, family and so on.”

Mr Edwards said while it would concentrate more on young people and parents, it would include every part of society.

“No one will be excluded — it will be from multinationals to villages, to youth clubs.”

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