Kurzer, Paulette. (2001) "Public health and European integration: A difficult match". In: UNSPECIFIED, Madison, Wisconsin. (Unpublished)
A new division is appearing between national government agencies, which try to shun outright prohibitionist drug control policy in favor of harm reduction or risk minimization strategies, and the Commission whose principal focus is demand-reduction or supply-suppression. The conclusion of this paper is therefore that it is perhaps preferable if the Community domain remains underdeveloped because it privileges repression over therapeutic intervention just when member states are moving into the direction of recognizing the futility of eradicating a youth culture, which partly revolves around illicit drug-taking. The organization of this paper will illustrate and elaborate this argument. In the first part, I explain why public health (under which drugs and infectious diseases fall) reflects typical national values and gives rise to different policy strategies. Then, I describe the current sate of affairs at the European level with special emphasis on the drug policy field. In the third section, I revisit the present situation in the member states to argue that public health measures and policy norms increasingly converge. The conclusion takes a second look at the tension between fresh Community developments and the new popularity of harm reduction strategies among the member states.
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