A response to Chatwin's article (2010), which argues that European harmonisation of illicit drug policies remains far from realisation, this paper seeks to recommend developing a more specific conceptualisation of European integration in the area of illicit drugs and argues that harmonisation was not a realistic aim of the European Union (EU).
This is a review paper which seeks to advocate the application of a more rigid analytical framework in drug policy analysis that takes into account the “soft” methods of governance used by the EU. The paper also uses secondary data sources to emphasise the argument.
Domestic convergence has been observed across a number of policy areas.
The nature and level of convergence remains contested and more data are needed to clarify any trends. Future research would be necessary to demonstrate that convergence occurs as a result of EU action rather than other factors.
There remains little in the way of research on the processes of European integration and their specific impact on drug policy at the European and domestic level. This paper will be of value to scholars in the field of European integration who are seeking to expand their research into a new policy sector, as well as researchers in the drug field who are looking for a more formal analytical framework.
Standring, A. (2012), "“An ever closer union … ” – towards the “soft” convergence of European drug policies", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 12-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/17459261211211656Download as .RIS
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