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

2015 News
Children see, Children act

The Pompidou Group launched its new drug prevention clip “Children see, Children act” during its workshop on Parenting Skills and Drug Prevention in Kiev, 10-12 October 2014. The clip is part of a joint drug prevention media campaign by the Pompidou Group, the Ukrainian State Drug Control Service, UNICEF and Aids Foundation East-West (AFEW). At the workshop NGO leaders, educators and prevention specialists from all regions of Ukraine discussed how to better involve parents in drug prevention activities. Over one hundred persons applied for the workshop reflecting the urgent need in Ukraine to provide training on primary drug prevention. The workshop has been jointly organised by the Pompidou Group and AFEW.

 suite Watch the video HERE

Creation in Tunis of an observatory on drugs and addictions
 
The round table organised in Tunis on May 20th and 21st in cooperation with the Ministry of Health attracted about fifty participants, stakeholders in all the Ministries: Justice, the Interior, Education, Family, Youth, Police, the Office of the Prime Minister as well as organisations directly involved with drug abuse and trafficking. The experience of observatories from Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Cyprus, France, Egypt, as well as that of the OEDT (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) were presented. The necessity to create a Tunisian observatory that would be independent, transparent and that would benefit all established itself. The structure of this observatory will be the subject of an agreement in the coming months.

1st Meeting of the Cooperation Group South East European Airports:


Thomas Kattau, Deputy Executive Secretary, opened the inaugural meeting of the Cooperation Group South East European Airports on 27-28 April in Zagreb, Croatia. This brand new activity by the Pompidou Group is based on a Croatian initiative and will facilitate hands-on, realtime cooperation between law enforcement and customs agencies at airports in the region. Tihomir Zegrec, senior Croation Customs official, is certain that the practical tools that will be presented in this cooperation can become a model for more effectively tackling drug trafficking through airports.
Zelko Petkovic, National Drugs Coordinator of Croatia and Permanent Correspondent to the Pompidou Group concluded in his welcome speech that “today we are definitely having a good momentum in the regional cooperation which can mainly be contributed to the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe. The Pompidou Group embraces all countries of the region regardless if they are its old member states like Slovenia and Croatia, brand new like Bosnia and Herzegovina or those who only have the potential to become part of a family.”

 
Opiate substitution therapy in the Euro-Mediterranean region

The Euro-Mediterranean seminar on “Opiate substitution therapy as part of a risk reduction policy” (OST) was organised by the National Office against Drugs and Drug Addiction (ONLCDT), in association with the Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform (MSPRH) and in partnership with the MedNET network of the Pompidou Group, as well as the South Programme financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. In all 70 participants from Algeria and 20 experts from the following 9 countries were involved: Belgium, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Lebanon, Portugal, Switzerland, Tunisia, the Palestinian National Authority as well as the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. All shared their experience in substitution therapy, widely used across Europe and across certain countries in North Africa and in the Middle East. The participants reached the conclusion that the introduction of opiate substitution therapy (OST) should first undergo a two-year feasibility study in a pilot care centre in Algiers, the country’s capital, before it can be extended to other regions based on the drug use situation. This study requires a hands-on training of the staff that will be working in the pilot centre. 

Speech by Jan Malinowski, Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group

Drug and HIV prevention in Ukrainian juvenile prison

Hundred boys aged 14-24 are incarcerated in the juvenile prison in Pryluky, Ukraine. Most of the inmates grew up in orphanages or came from dysfunctional families where alcohol, drug use and violence are prevalent. Many of the boys started smoking, drinking and using psychoactive substances during adolescence or even earlier. In conjunction with the State Ukrainian prison administration and the Dutch non-profit organisation Dutch Foundation Friends of Pryluky, the Pompidou Group organised a workshop on the 23-24 April in the juvenile institution in order to introduce the risk assessment tool SAVRY and family conference methodology. Trained multipliers from the Melitopol female juvenile prison attended the workshop, where they presented their experiences and explained to their Ukrainian colleagues the advantages of these tools for psychologists and prison managers. The workshop is the first of three valuable exchanges of experience with Pryluky planned for 2015. The goal of the activity is to prevent recidivism and to help the young men and women to return to a law-abiding and healthy lifestyle.

Gender mainstreaming and drug policy


Prof Marilyn Clark, author of the Pompidou Group publication “Gender Dimension of Non-Medical use of Prescription Drugs” and Elisabetta Simeoni, Gender rapporteur for the Pompidou Group, participated in the 7th meeting of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission held in Strasbourg from 15 to 17 April 2015. During the meeting participants stressed the need of gender mainstreaming in all drug policy dimensions.

Read HERE the ‘Gender Dimension of Non-Medical use of Prescription Drugs’ publication. 

Support for displaced Opiate Substitution Treatment patients in Ukraine


The Pompidou Group in conjunction with HIV Alliance in Ukraine has launched a project to support internally displaced patients who previously benefited from Opiate Substitution Treatment (OST) in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The project that is financed by Norway aims at catering for the basic needs and providing medical treatment and social assistance to 75 patients now receiving the treatment in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk. OST programmes have been discontinued in Crimea since May 2014 following the Russian Federation’s approach. Due to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine medical supply of methadone and buprenorphine has also been discontinued in Donetsk and Lugansk. Since the introduction of OST in 2005 Ukraine reports improvements in HIV prevention and drug treatment.

Deutsche Welle article about the project
Pompidou Group Translaion of the article


Pompidou Group MedNET takes part in the launch of the South Programme II


The European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programme : Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterranean is launched on 10 April 2015 at the Council of Europe.
This three year programme (2015-2017) aims at reinforcing human rights, democracy and Rule of law in Southern Mediterranean countries in accordance with European and other international standards. On the basis of the achievements of the first South Programme (2012-2014) Pompidou Group continues to participate in this new programme through MedNET, its network of co-operation in the Mediterranean region on drugs and addiction with a specific objective to contribute to ongoing democratic processes and foster regional co-operation in the field of human rights, rule of law and democracy, as a network between Europe and countries of the Southern Mediterranean region, as well as within the region. MedNET action will focus in particular on the setting up of national drug observatories, in the exchange of best practices and in a possible expansion of the network.


Pompidou Group 2015 Executive Training


On 23 March policy managers came together in Ljubljana for a high-profile training in support of conducting a review of existing drug policies in preparation for the 2016 UNGASS (United Nations General Assembly Special Session). The next special session of the UN General Assembly will be focusing on the world’s drug problem. In preparation of this event a review of the implementation by Member States of the Political Declaration and Action Plan which was adopted in 2009 was done. The training aimed to support governments in conducting an effective review of international, European and national drug policies and strategies. This also helped to better understand where work has been successful and where efforts need to be focused for future actions.

Shaping Global Drug Policies


The Pompidou Group reminds in its statement made at the 58th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (Vienna, 9-12 March 2015) the UN, NGOs, IGOs, experts, and government officials from all around the world that “the main intention of the United Nation’s legal framework on drugs is the safe¬guarding of the health and welfare of humankind”. This statement was presented by the Norwegian Presidency of the Pompidou Group in support of the preparation of UNGA Special Segment 2016 of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem. In conjunction with the governments of Croatia, the Republic of Moldova, Romania and UNODC as well as the Norwegian NGO Phoenix Haga, two side-events were organised on “Women in Focus: Social Reintegration as a Key to Successful Recovery and “The Success of Therapeutic Communities in Prison - a Model for Europe”. Moreover, the Pompidou Group exhibited drug prevention posters produced by Romanian prisoners who discovered the art producing process as a powerful method for communicating suppressed emotions and addressing drug-related problems.


suite Pompidou Group Statement on UNGASS 2016 Manuscript
suite CND 2015 VIDEO
suite PG at CND in images
suite Flyer - Art Exhibition
suite FlyerSide Event - Moldova and Romania
suite Flyer Side Event - Croatia


Adolescent drug use in the Mediterranean region
 

School surveys help decision makers to react to new drug trends and risks related to problematic drug use among the most vulnerable: young people. In its first report the Mediterranean School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (MedSPAD) will sheds light on drug use epidemiology and patterns among adolescents. The report will be published and disseminated this year. MedSPAD was launched in 2003 and the first MedSPAD committee was set up in 2014 under the Mediterranean Network (MedNet) of the Pompidou Group. The committee supports the sharing of experiences between the MedNet countries who have already conducted the MedSPAD (Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia) and those who may wish to do so in the future (Algeria, Egypt). The committee provides the opportunity to discuss survey findings and prevention policies. The school surveys exercise is part of what is required by the National Observatories on drug and drug addiction that already exists in Europe and which is about to be set up in some countries of the Mediterranean Region. MedSPAD shares its expertise with the other European countries in particular with the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) that is conducted in 35 countries and repeated every four years since 1995. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug addiction (EMCDDA) joined MedSPAD as an observer in 2015. The South Programme “Towards a Strengthened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterranean” that is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe is also supporting this project. The next MedSPAD meeting is planned for 5 October. The first MedSPAD regional report will be available in the summer in English French and Arabic.
On the way to closer cooperation with Georgia


Thomas Kattau of the Pompidou Group, met the Georgian Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs, Mr Archil Talakvadze, on 13 February to explore areas for closer cooperation between Georgia and the Pompidou Group. The Minister underlined the cutting edge role of the Pompidou Group in drug policy development. Participating in the Airports Group, the Precursor Network, as well as the activities on DarkNet monitoring would be among the priorities for cooperation with the Pompidou Group in 2015. Both expressed their hope that Georgia would become a member of the Pompidou Group in the near future. T. Kattau was also delivering a lecture in Sukhumi on drug policies in Europe as part of the 'European Lectures' organised by the Council of Europe's Confidence Building Measures programme.

New Drug Treatment Service in Moldovan Prisons


The Department of Penitentiary Institutions of the Republic of Moldova and the Pompidou Group agreed to implement two Therapeutic Communities (TCs) in one male and one female prison. TCs are micro-societies where clients are living 24/7 and experience all aspects of life challenges in a safe environment. They have been proved to be a potent methodology for treating drug dependency with very high success rate in treatment outcome. In addition to targeted trainings for prison staff, the Pompidou Group will support the construction of two prison wards where the TC members will live. The activity is part of the regional Pompidou Group project “Criminal Justice Responses to Drug Dependent Prisoners” that also covers Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine. It is financed through the CoE/EU Eastern Partnership Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF), 2015 – 2017.

Experts from Tunisia and the Palestinian Territories visit Malta


The MedNET programme of the Pompidou Group supports Opiate Substitution Treatment (OST) services in the Mediterranean region. During two recent study visits by experts from Tunisia (20-23 January) and Palestine (2-6 February) to Malta experts exchanged their knowledge. With funding from the South Programme in cooperation with Sedqa, the Foundation for Social Welfare Services in Malta, the delegations from Tunisia and the Palestinian Territories were able to meet with staff and experts in drug rehabilitation in Malta and to visit rehab centers focusing on OST treatment. These successful study visits will help the beneficiaries to gain further knowledge of relevant procedures and methods easily adaptable to their specific local needs and to further foster co-operation and exchange between Mediterranean countries.

Bureau sets targets for 2015

The first 2015 Permanent Correspondents Bureau Meeting was held in Paris on 27 January. Ms. Lilly-Sofie Ottesen, Deputy Director General of the Department of Public Health in the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Service, chaired the meeting. She presented the priorities of the Norwegian Presidency of the Pompidou Group. The members of the Bureau also discussed implementation of the 2015 – 2018 Work Programme adopted by the Pompidou Group’s Ministers at their end-November conference, and agreed the terms of reference for the related activities. Jan Malinowski, the Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group informed the Bureau about recent developments in the Council of Europe and activities of the Secretariat. The Bureau also prepared the 76th meeting of Permanent Correspondents to be held in Strasbourg on 27 and 28 May 2015 where one of the main topics will be future interaction with civil society.

Drug trafficking through airports, Precursor Diversion and Cybercrime


Law enforcement experts of the Pompidou Group agreed that more international cooperation is needed to tackle blind spots and new trends in drug trafficking through airports, precursor diversions and cybercrime in Europe. During preparatory meetings at the Council of Europe office in Paris from 20 to 22 January 2015 they set the objectives for major law enforcement encounters in 2015. Drugs-related cybercrime specialists considered the transversal coordination among international organisations and acknowledged that, in the mutual interest, new trends in drug trafficking using digital platforms require increased cooperation between countries. The general aviation group identified research and law enforcement training needed to better respond to trafficking by light aircraft and remotely piloted devices. Diversion of substances used to manufacture drugs is a growing concern and specific emphasis will be put on the emerging trend of methamphetamine production. The Czech Republic generously offered to host the next meeting of the precursors network in Prague in September 2015.

The Pompidou Group wishes you a Happy New Year!


2014 was a successful year for the Pompidou Group. We were able to respond rapidly to the humanitarian crisis in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine by providing assistance in the continuation of Opiate Substitution Treatment and to internally displaced persons in these crisis-stricken regions. Thanks to additional contributions from our Member States we managed to increase the number of our training programmes and research projects, generating extra activities to prevent and treat drug addiction in particularly vulnerable groups, such as refugees and prisoners, and to reduce the risks and harms related to drug use. The Pompidou Group broke new ground by facilitating international cooperation on drug-related cybercrime.

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Apply for the Pompidou Group’s Executive Training on Drug Policy 2015!

You are a drug policy manager and you want to improve your knowledge about drug policies in Europe. You also want to prepare yourself together with top drug experts for the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016).Then you should apply for the Pompidou Group's Executive Training on Drug Policy 2015. Application for the training can be send to your national Permanent Correspondents of the Pompidou Group or directly to the Pompidou Group Secretariat: Pompidou.Training@coe.int
Participation is open to all Council of Europe member States, MedNET countries and interested observers. The deadline for applications is 30 January 2015. The training course outline can be downloaded
HERE


New Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group

On 1 December 2014, Jan Malinowski became the new Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group. He said that he will guide the work of the Pompidou Group’s Secretariat “in close cooperation with the Member States and the Bureau of Permanent Correspondents” and “build on the considerable tangible achievements to date coupled with the innovative approach that has characterised the Group from its origins”.

Mr Malinowski joined the Council of Europe over 21 years ago and first worked in the Secretariat of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). Before joining the Pompidou Group, between 2005 and 2014, he was responsible for ground-breaking work on media policy, freedom of expression and Internet governance, bringing the Council of Europe to the forefront of the debate. Lately, he also had responsibility for data protection and cybercrime. Jan Malinowski is a lawyer, qualified in Spain and in England, with eight years of professional practice prior to joining the Council of Europe.


Mr Patrick Penninckx: A new role. A new capacity.


As from 1 December 2014, Mr Patrick Penninckx, the Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group, will be in charge of coordinating the Council of Europe's Department on Information Society, dealing with Freedom of the Media, Safety of Journalists, Internet Governance, Data Protection and Action against Cybercrime. Before he started his mandate in March 2009, he worked as an advisor to the special representative of the secretary general for organizational development and reform. For the past 25 years, he has worked at the Council of Europe in several functions, inter alia as special advisor to the Secretary General. Mr Penninckx lectured at several universities and was involved in civil society organizations both as a volunteer and as a professional. During his time in the Pompidou Group, he strongly promoted a human rights-based approach to drugs policies around the world and facilitated the accession of several European, North African and Middle East countries to the Group. Also Mexico became an Observer State of the Group.

Cooperation in the Mediterranean forges ahead in 2014 and the pace should continue in 2015

After a successful 2014 year which saw progress in the development of national observatories, the publication of country profiles, the ongoing training of medical staff through addictology courses and MedSPAD school surveys in Morocco and Tunisia, the Mediterranean Network for Co-operation on Drugs and Addictions (MedNET) will implement an ambitious work programme aimed at improving two-way transfer cooperation and enhance drug policies in the Mediterranean region. Danielle Jourdain-Menninger, President of Pompidou Group, chaired the MedNET meeting that was held in Strasbourg on 18 November 2014. Representatives of Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia adopted the 2014 annual activity report and the 2015 work programme. This ambitious programme will cover both country specific activities aiming at sustaining ongoing new activities and and regional activities such as the new participation of MedNET in the Pompidou Group airport groups, and a regional conference on Opiate Substitution Treatment and Risk Reduction, and the participation in the first European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies.

suite Final activity report


Online prevention and treatment


Member States of the Pompidou Group discussed how the internet could be used to improve drug prevention and treatment services at the regional TAIEX (Technical Assistance Information Exchange) workshop in Tirana, 3-4 November. The workshop aimed at contributing to defining the needs on internet-based interventions in the region, offering concrete solutions based on experience from the EU and regional cooperation. The event was organised in cooperation with the Albanian Ministry of Health and gathered experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Serbia as well as from Germany, the Netherlands and Slovenia. The representatives of the Ministry of Health of Albania opened the meeting underlining the importance of sharing good practices and new developments in internet-based drug prevention and treatment interventions in Europe. An exchange between EU Member States and IPA (Pre Accession Assistance) beneficiaries is crucial to harmonise drug policy and to extent concrete expertise on development of suitable internet-based tools. One of the goals of the EU Drug Strategy 2013-2020 is to expand the availability, accessibility and coverage of effective and diversified drug treatment to problem drug users.

Norway elected for Presidency of the Pompidou Group


Ministers and Heads of Delegations elected Norway for the 2015-2018 Presidency of the Pompidou Group represented by Secretary of State from Norway Mrs Astrid Nøklebye Heiberg and Italy, represented by Mrs Patrizia de Rose Head of Technical Scientific and General Affairs Office Department for Anti-Drug Policies, for the Vice-Presidency at the 16th Ministerial Conference which took place in Strasbourg on 19-20 November. Moreover, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, congratulated Minister Malden Ćavar on Bosnia-Herzegovina joining the Pompidou Group and becoming the 37th Member State. Another highlight was the announcement of the three winning youth organisations of the European Drug Prevention Prize from France, Portugal and Croatia.

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