Pompidou Group - Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs

Events 2013
South East Europe (SEE)
South East Europe (SEE) is frequently associated with instability and insecurity, originating from geopolitical turmoil in the early nineties. In such historic context undoubtedly organised crime could flourish. Today this continues to covertly undermine democracy and wellbeing of citizens in this part of Europe. The range of recently adopted measures including effective regional cooperation aimed at suppressing trafficking activities, confirms that countries in SEE have shown ability and resolve to claim ownership of the issue and apply appropriate responses to this challenge. The complexity of the drug phenomenon results in a vast set of factors influencing supply and demand. Constantly changing modalities of trafficking in the region is just one illustrative example. No doubt that heroin, which once developed into a serious epidemic trade of narcotics, transcending borders, ideologies and cultures, is still responsible for most drug-related problems, especially among young people and vulnerable groups. Yet, availability of and access to health oriented interventions for opiate users continues to be an unresolved challenge for some countries of the region. In addition to ‘old problems’” the region is nowadays facing a considerable increase in the proliferation of cocaine and ‘legal highs’. Today the Pompidou Group provides a platform that assists SEE countries to further explore and develop effective responses to drug problems. The key to success is the regional dialogue focusing on exchange of knowledge, experiences and practice among participating states. Keeping professional from all relevant fields involved inspires the professional environment and links policy with practice. This way innovative approaches and good practices can spread in the region. This initiative came from government representatives of the SEE region themselves. All Pompidou Group Member States in 2011 showed the wisdom to embrace this proposal and make it part of their activities. Since then many countries neighbouring the region have joined the cooperation and experts from all over Europe are invited to regional activities. Unlike in other international programmes the participating states have assumed full ownership of the activity which reinforces their commitment to work. The Pompidou Group has taken on the role of facilitator, for the activities commonly agreed by all participating states. Regular consultations on eye-level avoid overlap with existing regional activities. A further added value of this endeavour is that countries which are already members of the European Union can assist candidate or potential EU candidate countries which have an interest in reconfiguring their drug policies in line with the EU standards. The first South Eastern Europe activities were launched in 2012 in two regional meetings: Dubrovnik, Croatia (February 2012) and Belgrade, Serbia (June 2012). The results provided a long overdue, needs assessment which identified regional priority topics as the basis for ensuing activities. With the support of the TAIEX instrument of the European Commission, the third regional meeting was organised in Podgorica, Montenegro (July 2013). Besides looking into corresponding models of drug policy coordination the meeting provided experts with a forum to develop a clearer vision of SEE cooperation and shape ideas for visible outputs. These accomplished results allowed to secure further TAIEX funding for the next regional meeting, which will take place in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in early spring 2014. The meeting will kick-start a regional initiative to increase quality of interventions and develop innovative approaches to drug demand reduction in the SEE. Experts and government representatives of the SEE cooperation met prior to the 73rd meeting of the Pompidou Group’s Permanent Correspondents (Athens, Greece, 25 November 2013) to take stock of the results reached in 2013 and to prepare the work for 2014.
Athens Declaration
Athens Declaration One of the most important outcomes of the 73rd Permanent Correspondents meeting of the Pompidou Group was the adoption of the Declaration on protectingpublic health by ensuring essential services in drug policy under austerity measures (Athens Declaration). There is an urgent need to reverse the correlation between economic crisis, worrying public health trends and the risk of discrimination. The Athens Declaration notes that the global financial and economic crisis in Europe and the related austerity measures have already brought about and may imminently exacerbate challenges related to the health of the individual and of the population as a whole. Meni Malliori says in the interview that the meeting was a “good opportunity to share our anxieties, experiences and hopes for the future”. Full interview with Meni Malliori, President of the Greek state-run Organization Against Drugs, OKANA about HIV prevention in Greece, austerity measures and the Athens Declaration can be found here. Athens Declaration
Pompidou Group 73rd Permanent Correspondents meeting held in Athens
The 73rd Permanent Correspondents meeting of the Pompidou Group was held in Athens, Greece on the 26 and 27 November 2013. In order to further sharpen the profile of the Pompidou Group and ensure its complementarity to the international organisations the activities of the next work programme should visibly incorporate aspects that reflect the Council of Europe’s main mission: safeguarding human rights, ensuring the rule of law and promoting pluralist democracy. This would also enable the Pompidou Group to make better use of the available Council of Europe mechanisms in promoting its products and result towards a higher political level thus achieving more impact, Mr. Patrick Penninckx Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group says.
Drug Courts in Malta
Will the creation of a drug court in Malta help the country to reduce recidivism and judicial caseloads? In order to answer this question, the National Commission on the Abuse of Drugs Alcohol and other Dependencies invited an expert team put together by the Pompidou Group. On the 6th of November 2013 the experts met with the Maltese Minister for Family and Social Solidarity, Hon Marie Louise Coliero Preca, and Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, Hon Owen Bonnici, to discuss the possibility of implementing drug courts for drug dependent offenders in Malta.
In addition to the meeting with the Ministers, the two experts consulted on the 5th and 6th of November police commissioners, drug squad police, members of the Attorney General's office, judges, probation officers and drug treatment service providers.
The experts' presentations outlined the principles, ethics and objectives of quasi-coerced treatment as well as the Norwegian experience with Drug Courts. The participation at discussions was high and supportive to the idea of creating specialised judicial proceedings for drug dependent offenders.
Israeli accession to the Pompidou Group and the 10th EXASS Net Meeting in Israel on Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation for Young People
From 15 to 18 October, the Pompidou Group’s EXASS Net, a network of partnerships between stakeholders at frontline level responding to drug problems providing experience and assistance for inter-sectoral cooperation, held its 10th meeting in Israel. The 30 delegates representing 11 different states, the European Union, and the Pompidou Group’s Secretariat participated in the ceremony celebrating the accession of Israel to the Pompidou Group, marking the second non-Council of Europe country, after Morocco, to become a full member. The program, organized by the Israeli Anti-Drug Authority and presented by members of different services, took delegates to Jerusalem, the Gilboa Mountains, Haifa, and Ashdod to visit various prevention, rehabilitation, and treatment facilities. These focused especially on youth and women, as well as community based prevention through parent involvement and extracurricular activities for young people. The issue of increased societal segmentation due to recent waves of immigration and the different approaches to youth and drugs were discussed in a multicultural panel presentation. The multiple methods of addressing the negative effects of drugs and alcohol were presented in a spirit of constructive optimism that puts the well-being of the individual at the center of the attention. The concepts applied are based on the idea that substance-free life is attainable when the community supports the process of gradual steps towards leading an independent and responsible life.
Tunis 2nd round table on the development and implementation of drug policy and seminar on opiate substitution treatment
On 9 and 10 October, the MedNET network of co-operation in the Mediterranean Region on Drugs and Drug Addiction will hold in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Tunis, a second round table on the development and implementation of drug policy.
Dr Abdellatif Mekki, Ministry of Health will open this event which will be attended by around 70 representatives from Ministry of health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Women and Family Affairs, Medical Staff and NGOs. The round table will discuss the national drug strategy, the implementation of the new drug law on the criminal judicial system and the first contact with drug users . The issue of setting up of a national Tunisian drug observatory will also benefit from the expertise from Greece, Italy, Portugal, Malta and Morocco. This round table is part of a project initiated and funded by Italy in which participate Morocco and Egypt.

On 11 October, a seminar on opiate substitution treatment will be held and will be target among medical staff. It follows a study-visit to Morocco devoted to this issue. The objective is to discuss whether Opiate Substitution Treatment could be offered among other treatment options in Tunisia.

suite The Pompidou Group and the co-operation with Tunisia
Transcultural Drug Work – International Conference of the Pompidou Group in Moscow on 3 October
In dealing with ethnic groups of drug users it is indispensable to deal with cultural specificities, norms and values of the clients in planning and implementing treatment and social rehabilitation. It is essential to develop dialogue with migrants, taking into account their cultural identity. A key to successful integration of this vulnerable group into the system of social welfare and health care lies in the trans-cultural competences of professionals and institutions that deal with regular and irregular drug using migrants.
The Pompidou Group developed a manual to assist policy managers and professionals from health care and social welfare in upgrading their level of competency to deal with populations from other cultures and improving the situation of ethnic migrants, including irregular ones.
The International Conference on ‘Transcultural Drug Work’, organised jointly with the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and the National Research Centre on Addictions, will bring together policy makers and professionals from several Ministries and International experts.
Demographic developments all over Europe and the World demonstrate that ethnic migrants are likely to become one of the significant target groups requiring a specialised approach in dealing with drug addiction problems. In a globalised world, migration and cultural diversity have a transnational character with far-reaching national implications, which poses challenges both for the local population as well as the immigrant population.
Despite well-functioning systems of social protection and welfare, treatment and rehabilitation for drug users in many countries, an effective system to support drug users from ethnically different backgrounds is still in a development stage. The conference seeks to address these issues, taking into account the social, psychological and cultural specificities of such migrant communities. International experts will propose effective ways of engaging and working with and rehabilitating migrant drug users and provide examples of targeted services from Germany, Finland, Israel, Mexico and Switzerland.

suite Draft programme of "Transcultural Drug Work"
suite Manual on “Transcultural drug work”
Message from the Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group. Accession of Israel to the Group.
In his letter dated August 25, 2013 the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel confirmed the decision of the State of Israel to accede to the Enlarged Partial Agreement of the Pompidou Group. The date of accession will be 1 October 2013 (see letter enclosed).
The first activity to take place in Israel will be the 10th EXASS Net Meeting on ‘Drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for young people’ from 15 – 17 October. Several Permanent Correspondents and other experts have confirmed their participation. It will be preceded by a formal accession ceremony. It will also be the occasion for a short ceremony during the Permanent Correspondents meeting in November.
The accession of Israel brings the number of Member States of the Pompidou Group to 36 Member States.

suite EXASS Net Meeting Program 2013
suite Official letter of the accession of Israel
MedNET: South-South cooperation and Opiate Substitution Therapy
At the request of Tunisia, a delegation of Tunisian psychiatrists paid a study-visit from 4-6 September to Morocco on Opiate Substitution Therapy. This type of therapy has developed successfully in Morocco, which is the first country to have introduced this therapy in of the South rim of the Mediterranean. However it is not available yet in Tunisia.
The Director the of the University Psychiatric Hospital Ar-razi and of the National Observatory on Drugs and Drug Addiction in Morocco, organized a visit of the Rabat and Casasblanca treatment centers and the risk reduction association. The last day was devoted to a discussion on future perspectives for Tunisia and of collaboration opportunities in between both countries.
European Drug Prevention Prize preparatory meeting
The Jury of the European Drug Prevention Prize will meet in Strasbourg on the 28th and 29th August to work on the preparations for the European Drug Prevention Prize 2014. The meeting takes place prior to the launch of the Call for Applications. The Jurors will follow an in-depth training with the advisers to the Jury and set the calendar for their future work. The Jury is composed of three members of the 2012 Prize Jury, along with four new members. The new members had been recruited following an open call and had been appointed to the Jury in consultation with the expert advisers.
Since 2004, the Pompidou Group has been awarding its European Drug Prevention Prize every two years to innovative drug prevention projects led by young people for young people. The main objective of this prize is to recognize the importance of active youth participation in creating a better and healthier environment for all communities in Europe. In 2002, the Helsinki Conference on “Targeted Drug Prevention – reaching young people in the community” involved young people in discussions with practitioners and policy makers in the field of drug prevention. Consequently the positive experiences generated during this conference let the Pompidou Group to adopt a concept for an activity that will reinforce and promote active youth participation in the planning, implementation and evaluation of drug prevention programmes.

For more information on the development of the project, please follow us on Facebook and listen to our podcast.
Road traffic safety and substitution treatment
The report of the expert group was presented at the 71st PC meeting. In view of the wide spread use of substitution therapy, as part of drug treatment programmes, the report examines the state of present practices across Europe. It takes into account the effects of different substitution drugs on the ability to drive based on existing research. Furthermore the rehabilitation and integration implications of existing practise and regulations are explored.
In their work the experts took into account existing studies and research, in particular the Pompidou Group’s previous work on drugs and road traffic, and the results of the DRUID Project.
The report contains proposals for guiding principles for developing regulations concerning substitution treatment and driving, proposed by the expert group, for adoption which PCs will consider for adoption.

suite Road traffic safety and substitution treatment
Drug related cybercrime and associated use of the Internet
One of our latest publications is about drug related cybercrime and the associated use with the Internet. Recent developments in web technologies have enabled the emergence of a new global online black market for illicit substances, making it easy for criminals to sell drugs. Yet, it is impossible for authorities to stop them because of the combination of anonymous technology and a sophisticated user-feedback system, which means they are untraceable. This publication gives an overview, analysis and possible actions by the Pompidou Group of this problem.

suite Drug related cybercrime and associated use with the Internet
MOLDOVA speaks up for better drug treatment services and against social exclusion of prisoners
During three major events in Chisinau – an Open Air Concert entitled “Music is my Drug”, a medical forum on drug dependency treatment and HIV prevention as well as an educative quiz for prisoners – young people, health care professionals and decision makers called for improving drug treatment services and fighting the stigma of people who use drugs, including people who are imprisoned. The events had been jointly organised by the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the auspices of the National Drug Control Committee and in partnership with the NGO “Positive Initiative”.

“Music is my Drug”
On June 23rd the open air music concert “Music is my Drug” was organised, gathering more than 1000 young people and families to enjoy local rock band performances in a drug and alcohol free zone. Ten Moldovan bands performed on a voluntary basis at the "Summer Green-Theatre" in Chisinau: Zdob si Zdub, Ana Gulco & X, Cuibul, Paralela 47, Veriga, Yolka Flyman, Infected Rain, Fire Love, DARA, and Longa. The opening act of the concert was a performer coming from the female prison Number 7. Combining rock music and anti-drug messages provided an opportunity to question the common misconceptions that associate the rock music scene with drug use, a stereotype all performers were eager to break. The revenue from the ticket sales was donated to drug rehabilitation centres and the Therapeutic Community from Berezchi Anenii Noi rayon. The main organiser of the event, the NGO “Positive Initiative”, supports the rehabilitation of drug users including prisoners in Moldova.
suite More pictures
Medical Forum on Drug Dependence Treatment and HIV prevention
The Minister of Health of the Republic of Moldova, Andrei Usatîi, attended the International Conference held in Chisinau from 24th to 25th June, where the invited specialists and representatives from governmental, international and non-governmental organisations discussed the latest international evidence on addiction treatment and drug services. The event gathered 90 professionals, including medical doctors, international and regional well known experts, and key specialists from the field of addiction treatment in order to streamline, centralise and disseminate medical knowledge on medication assisted treatment (MAT), harm reduction and psycho-social support in Moldova. The productive exchange of information and best practices amongst colleagues from all over Moldova and with regional and international experts was found very useful by the participants.
suite More pictures
Intellectual Quiz “BRAIN RING” for prisoners
The Anti-Drug Campaign in Moldova also involved prisons and pre-trial detention centres which have a significant number of prisoners using drugs and facing heightened stigma and discrimination in society during and after imprisonment. On June 26th an intellectual game, called “Brain Ring”, for prisoners was organised. The event was made possible due to the close cooperation with the Department of Penitentiary Institutions, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova and with support from the NGO “Positive Initiative”. All inmates from 9 different prisons participated in the quiz which tested general knowledge with a special focus on issues related to drug use, HIV and tuberculosis. The three winning teams competed in a free setting: a restaurant in Chisinau city. In order to support the participants, the relatives and family members were also invited to the event.
suite More pictures
Pompidou Group supports UNICRI in their initiative of an Awareness and Information Day on Gender Differences in Drug Abuse in countries of the Mediterranean Basin on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June 2013.
Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia, the countries of the Mediterranean Basin which are are part of the Drugs Alcohol and Women Network (DAWN) will hold a series of awareness and information activities targeting women and girls in different phases of their lives and and of their relationship with drugs.Detection of drugs in post parcels and express courier consignements, synthetic drugs, drug trafficking by air freight, general aviation are specific topics of this annual session.
DAWN which is implemented by UNICRI with the Department for Antidrug Policies-Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Italy is at the origin of the adoption of a resolution in the 55th session of the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs which require the Member States to undertake the responsibility to promote “strategies and measures targeting the specific needs of women in the context of programmes and strategies that are comprehensive and integrated in the reduction in the demand for drugs”.

suite Link to the UNICRI document
28th Annual Meeting of the Cooperation Group of Drug Control Services at European Airports and in General Aviation, 19-21 June 2013
On 19-21 June, around 60 participants representing customs and law enforcement from 23 countries: 17 PG Member countries and 6 non-PG member countries including Japan and Lebanon will meet in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. With participation of international organisations such as Interpol, Regional International Intelligence Liaison Office, World Customs Organisation, UNODC West-Africa, EMCDDA and representatives of private industry, the group which meets annually will act as a forum for the exchange of practical information on problems and operational practice to improve drug detection in European airports. Detection of drugs in post parcels and express courier consignements, synthetic drugs, drug trafficking by air freight, general aviation are specific topics of this annual session.

suite Interpol
suite Regional International Intelligence Liaison Office
suite World Customs Organisation
suite UNODC West-Africa
suite EMCDDA
New Publication on Mental Health and Addition in Prisons
The publication contains articles by experts who attended the International Conference on Mental Health and Addictions in Prisons which took place in Bucharest on 27 and 28 February 2013. The event was organised by the Pompidou Group together with the Romanian Anti-Drug Agency and the National Prison Administration. The articles in this publication reflect the main conclusions and arguments of the experts attending the conference.

Link to the publication:
suite Mental Health and Addiction in Prisons
New video on prevention - BEEcool
The Pompidou Group has produced a new video on prevention in collaboration with the participants of the 2012 Executive Training. It was recorded by Bence Toth (film director) in a club in Budapest, Hungary. The idea was to create a prevention video without that will not require adaptation in every country.

Link to the video:
suite Youtube
Moldovan Police debate treatment of drug users
How can police officers fulfill their duty in enforcing narcotic law while also supporting uninterrupted access to treatment for drug users? Questions such as these were critically discussed at the workshop on "Preventing Drug Abuse - Treatment and Harm Reduction in Police Arrest" which took place in Chisinau on 15-16 May. The event was organized by the Pompidou Group together with the NGO “Innovating Projects in Prisons” in conjunction with the Anti-Drug Department of the Moldovan Police. The Head of the Anti-drug Department, the Chief of the National Department for Criminal Inspections as well as 25 specialised police officers attended the workshop.

More pictures:
suite Facebook
European Research Network on Illicit Drugs, ERANID, launched Rome, May 7th
ERANID, the European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs, a project funded by the European Union, has been launched. It can be considered as a first fundamental step towards long-term co-operation in the field of scientific research on illicit drugs. The development of shared priorities for research on illicit drugs and the funding of joint research projects in this field are the main objectives of this project.
With the development of a Strategic Research Agenda, based on existing evidence and a common understanding of priorities, ERANID will increase the knowledge of both drug demand and supply issues and their complex relationship. The project operates mainly in the field of socio-economic sciences and humanities and aims to strengthen and widen the network of research programmes and participants. Closer co-operation amongst researchers of different European and other countries may lead to further development in research techniques and the effective evaluation of policy strategies and innovative programmes. Disseminating the results of the acquired knowledge will support policy decisions and actions.
The participating countries are Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The project, which will last for four years, will also collaborate closely with two important organisations: the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe. The coordinator of ERANID is ZonMw (The Netherlands).
This month ERANID will start the development of a Strategic Research Agenda for which we will ask the co-operation of stakeholders.

More information:
suite Website ERANID
suite European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
suite ZonMw
Announcement round table and gender workshop Cairo
On 13 and 14 May, the MedNET network of co-operation in the Mediterranean Region on Drugs and Drug Addiction will hold in collaboration with the General Secretariat of Mental Health in Egypt a round table on the development and implementation of drug policy. Representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Justice, Medical Staff and NGOs will participate along with experts from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Malta in the discussions with the aim of setting up an Inter-Ministerial Advisory Body on drugs and drug Addiction. This round table is part of a project initiated and funded by Italy.
On 15 May, within the framework of the MedNET project aiming at offering gender-oriented social and health services to better meet the specific needs of female drug users, a gender workshop on substance dependent women will take place to present the results of a survey on substance abuse services for women and discuss it with experts from Italy and Malta. The objective is to set up the first public service for women in Egypt in collaboration with the Pompidou Group.
Both the round table and the gender project were initiated and funded by Italy.
suite The Pompidou Group and the co-operation with Egypt
Medical and social professionals join forces to fight HIV/AIDS spread in Moldova and treat drug dependency
The training was highly appreciated by the Moldovan participants. 50 medical doctors (narcologists), psychologists, university lecturers and social workers representing both community and prisons attended the event which took place at a hotel in Vadul lui Voda (near Chisinau), on April 15-17 2013. The goal of the training was to develop a practical approach in addressing the needs of methadone patients. The participants practiced the case management method and working in teams in order to better motivate opiate users to enter methadone treatment. Moreover, with a purpose of fighting stereotypes about methadone substance specialists were introduced to evidence-based medical findings about the safety and effectiveness of Methadone in preventing drug abuse and transmission of HIV/ Hep C.
The training was jointly organised by the Council of Europe Pompidou Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Collaborating governmental partners were the Narcology Dispensary and the Department of Penitentiary Institutions. The non-governmental umbrella organisation “Positive Initiative” as well as the coordinators of the NGOs “New Life” and “Youth for the Right to Life” were actively involved in the organisation of the event.
suite United Nations Office on Drugs ans Crime (UNODC)
suite « Positive Initiative »
suite « New Life »
suite « Youth for the Right to Life »
Support for young female offenders at Melitopol (Ukraine)
Since November 2012 the Pompidou Group expert Alla Shut monitors the training-of-trainers (ToT) project at the Melitopol correctional institutions for female juvenile delinquents organised by the Dutch Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine and the Dutch Ministry of Justice. Most of the inmates grew up in orphanages or come from families with serious social and health problems. Often they started smoking, drinking and using psychoactive substances when they were very young. Domestic violence had detrimental impact on their lives as adolescents. This is why there is an urgent need to provide tool to the prison staff that will effectively help the incarcerated teenagers to get adequate care and attain the necessary life-skills needed for reintegration and adaptation in society. Thus, the project aims at preventing drug usage, providing life skills training, supporting resocialisation and re-insertion in society. Three Dutch experts under the guidance of the project leader Robert Suvaal investigated the needs and developed together with 20 local specialists a practical educational training course. The fourth and last meeting of the ToT project will take place 30-31 of May 2013.
The Pompidou Group goes social media
The Pompidou Group was founded in 1971 at the initiative of the late French President Georges Pompidou. From then on the Group has gained more and more importance. Today, we are still finding ways to get the public’s attention. And this is where marketing steps in. But as the environment is constantly changing, so we need to adapt to every situation. Social media has acquired a massive audience the past decade, which has proved a big opportunity for many companies and organizations. That’s why we think it is time for us to explore online platforms that spread our work. From now on the public can make contact with the Pompidou Group and ask as many questions as they want. These platforms give them the opportunity to access the Group’s information if they wish and to follow in all the activities we carry out. Another great advantage for the Pompidou Group is that each person who reads our posts has the capability of spreading our work, also referred to as word-of-mouth marketing. This has proved to be very efficient and we as a team will do our best to satisfy our visitors with interesting and up-to-date information.
Check them out here:
suite Facebook page

suite Twitter account
suite Youtube channel
How to measure coherent policies on psychoactive substances: a research in constant evolution?
The aim of this activity, priority of the work programme 2011-2014 is to identify effective approaches of coherent policies for licit and illicit drugs.
Policy-makers and/or researchers from 12 countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Belgium, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovak Republic and Switzerland and EMCDDA are part of a working group which objective is to develop, refine and test indicators/markers in participating countries to verify whether they provide a valid tool for measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of a coherent policy on psychoactive substances. The next step is to hold in each country discussion workshops/focus groups with different stakeholders to fill in the diagnostic tool (set of different markers) for the licit and illicit substances policies.
The background of the activity is the three publications: link to each one of them.
suite “From a policy on illegal drugs to a policy on psychoactive substances” in 2008
suite “Towards an integrated policy on psychoactive substances: a theoretical and empirical analyses” in 2010
suite “Reflections on the concept of coherency for a policy on psychoactive substances and beyond” in 2012
Morocco and Tunisia share their experience in the management of addictions
Since December 2012, the Tunisian Society of Psychiatry, with the support of the MedNET network and the Joint South Programme of the Council of Europe and the European Union, organized a series of monthly seminars for addiction mental health professionals. This completely new training was a great success with psychiatrists, psychologists and public health physicians involved in the management of addictions. On 8 March, another step has been taken with the objectives set by MedNET, namely the strengthening of the South-South cooperation, as the participants in the seminar were able to benefit from the skills and experience of a renowned Moroccan psychiatrist. The Coordinator of these meetings sent us the following message "the seminar was exciting thanks to the trainer who was able to transmit his passion".
suite More information about the MedNET Network
MedNET work programme 2013 – Implementation is progressing at a rapid pace
Following the adoption of the 2013 work programme of the Mediterranean network for co-operation on drugs and addictions (MedNET), the state of progress concerning the implementation of the approved activities is the following:
    • In Egypt, the project concerning the “Gender Oriented Care of Substance Dependent Women” which finished its first phase of reviewing the literature and assessment is now preparing a workshop which will be held on 15 May in Cairo.
    • In Lebanon, two projects have started: the project on implementing a life skills prevention programme in 10 schools and the project on creating a youth drug counseling center in a high risk area have started.
    • In Morocco, the addictology courses are ongoing and within the framework of the Italian project, the first round table on development and implementation of drug policy: a national drug prevention strategy will be held on 20 and 21 March in Rabat.
    • In Tunesia, the series of seminars on addictology is ongoing. The second seminar planned in February had to be cancelled due to political events, the third one has just been held with participation of a trainer from Morocco, underlining the interest for a South-South cooperation. The MedSPAD launched in December 2012 in Tunis continues: data have been collected and will be analysed. A study visit for a Tunisia delegation in Cyprus will be held at the end of March and a round table on development and implementation of drug policy is planned on 16 and 17 April in Tunis.
Concerning the regional activities:
    • The working group on addictology programmes met on 4 February in Paris and will meet again on 25 June to finalise a document proposing recommendations on training and drug education.
    • The 14th MedNET will take place on 27 May in Strasbourg at the eve of the Permanent Correspondents meeting.
suite More information about the MedNET Network
Recruitment of 4 new Jury members for the 2014 and 2016 Prize
The European Drug Prevention Prize is a unique pan-European initiative of the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe, aiming to promote youth participation in drug prevention. Its objective is to recognise the importance of active youth participation in creating a better and healthier environment for all communities in Europe. In the framework of the preparation of the European Drug Prevention Prize, the Pompidou Group is looking to recruit four new members for the jury. The Jury is composed of 7 young people from Pompidou Group member States. They are identified by the Secretariat of the Pompidou Group based on the proposals of the member States representatives as well as non-governmental organisations that work with young people across Europe and other parts of the world. To read more about the Prize:
suite Prevention Prize website
suite Facebook Page of the Prevention Prize

suite Procedure

For any comments or questions, please contact thea.sveen@coe.int
Eastern Europe calls for effective drug treatment in prisons
More than 100 participants from 15 different countries attended the conference which took place in Bucharest, 27-28 February 2013. Experts, decision-makers and frontline workers expressed the pressing need for immediate and far-reaching actions towards effective drug treatment in prisons. A highlight was the declaration by the Deputy Minister on Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia, Archil Talakvadze, who called for drug policy changes in his country. In his opinion, Georgia's zero-tolerance approach towards the possession of small quantities of illicit drugs for personal use should be reconsidered, drug treatment improved and the number of persons imprisoned reduced. During the conference, well-known doctors and psychologists stressed the need to tackle substance abuse and HIV infections in European prisons. The Moldovan model showed that needle and syringe exchange programmes as well as opiate substitution treatment are key ways to help curb addiction and HIV infections also in Eastern European's lower income countries. A spectacular side-event of the conference was a pantomime play performed by inmates depicting their struggle with drug addiction. After the play the inmates exhibited drug preventions posters which they produced in the framework of the Pompidou Group project ''Drugs in Prison''. Accompanied by mass-media the participants visited on the second day of the conference the Therapeutic Community in Jilava prison in Bucharest.
suite Programme of the conference

suite Podcast of Patrick Penninckx
suite More information about prisons
International Conference on “Mental Health and Addiction in Prisons”
This international conference is organised by the Pompidou Group in co-operation with the National Anti-Drug Agency of Romania. It will take place at the National Library of Bucharest on 27 February 2013. The conference will focus on the current approaches, regional and European, to improve clinical and psychological drug treatment services in prisons. Participants are invited to share and exchange their knowledge and experiences. A side event will also be organised: an exhibition of drug prevention posters created by detainees living in therapeutic communities.
suite Programme of the conference
Combatting drug trafficking in airports in the Mediterranean Region
The Regional Mediterranean seminar on combating drug trafficking in airports is organised on 29-30 October in Strasbourg in the framework of the Mediterranean network (MedNET) activities. The seminar will promote an exchange of views on drug trafficking and crime related issues (airport crime and airport security) at airports of the MedNET region and take into account the expertise of the Pompidou Group’s “Airports Group”. Composed of law enforcement officers, including police officers, customs officers and border control-officers, this group aims to develop and harmonise tools and systems to improve drug detection in European airports. On the occasion of this seminar law enforcement officers from Algeria, Egypt, France, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia will be able to exchange views and experience. The World Customs Organisation (WCO), Interpol and the Analysis and Operation Centre-Narcotics (MAOC-N) will also participate in the discussions. This seminar should be a step not only towards effective cooperation between European and Mediterranean countries in the field of law enforcement, but will also support international activities in the field of drug supply reduction.
suite Link to the Programme
suite Link to the MedNET webpage
suite Link to the Airports Group webpage
Serbia - Workshop on Treatment and Risk Assessment
About 50 Serbian prison doctors and educators working in prisons attended the workshop “Improving Treatment Services and Risk Assessment of Drug Users in Prisons”, which took place in Belgrade, Serbia, on 17 and 18 December 2012. The workshop was organised by the Pompidou Group and the Criminal Law Co-operation Unit of the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Serbian Prison Administration.
Among the topics discussed were: the implementation of harm reduction measures, the professional independence of the medical staff as well as the training needs for psychologists and doctors. The participants concluded that it is necessary to strengthen the interdisciplinary working relations between doctors and psychologist on one side and prison directors and security staff on the other side and also to improve collaboration with community organisations in order to create a network of services for providing effective care.
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