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The highlights of the October II plenary session included a debate on the conclusions of the last European Council meeting and the presentation of a new agenda for EU leaders, as well as the presentation of the 2018 Commission work programme. Members paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist killed in a car bomb explosion on 16 October.

Improving the EU's response to the rapid spread of new psychoactive substances has become urgent, and consequently Parliament is due to vote on a 'drugs package' during the October II plenary session. The package makes additions to the directive setting common minimum rules on criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking, as well as corresponding amendments to the founding regulation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the proposed changes to the Council Decision on the definition of drugs and a proposed new Regulation on emerging psychoactive substances, submitted on 17 September 2013. It analyses whether the principal criteria laid down in the Commission’s own Impact Assessment Guidelines, as well as additional factors identified by the Parliament in its Impact Assessment ...