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

2015 News
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.


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

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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Women in Focus: Social Reintegration as a Key to Successful Recovery

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The Success of Therapeutic Communities in Prison - a Model for Europe

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