Partie ou chapitre de livre
Western and Central Europe: towards a cohesive model for drug policies?
Research Handbook on International Drug Policy
Edward Elgar Publishing
93 - 115 p.
drug, public policy, control
Just as the geography of Europe is disputed, so is its social and cultural identity. Shaped by a dense history, European states share a centuries-old institutional heritage. They have been engaged since the Second World War in a powerful process of political integration. And yet European nations remain diverse, with linguistic and cultural differences so entrenched that it is sometimes said that this very diversity is the first characteristic of “European civilization” (Wintle, 1997). This observation also applies to drug policy. From the creation of European maritime empires which turned many psychoactive substances into global commodities in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Mills & Barton, 2007) to the great historical about-face which precipitated the shift in priorities of Western political elites from the promotion of intoxicants to their partial prohibition, European states share a common history as a drug “distribution engine” (Courtwright, 2001, 53). They then contributed to the establishment of a global drug control regime which they are still unanimously implementing. And they now often speak with one voice when the drug issue is debated in international arenas, especially at the United Nations (UN), most often to champion human rights, prevention and treatment. [first paragraph]