the Mediterranean network for co-operation on drugs and
addictions of the Pompidou Group, promotes cooperation,
exchange and mutual transfer of knowledge between countries
on both sides of the Mediterranean (North-South and
South-North exchanges), as well as among Mediterranean
countries (South-South exchanges).
Ten Years of MedNET|
On 30 November 2016,
the MedNET network celebrated its tenth anniversary in
A number of publications have been
produced to mark the occasion, recounting the history of the
network over the last ten years, and focusing on how the
drug situation has evolved in the six countries on the
southern rim of the network: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan,
Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.
A series of papers on
the impact of the network has also been published. It
includes a report presenting the network's added value, the
results of a survey of the MedNET participants, and a
timeline representing the highlights of the network.
The anniversary of MedNET was also an opportunity to welcome
two new members, Palestine and Turkey, and celebrate the
continued success of the network, whose budget has increased
tenfold since its creation.
The event was followed by
the Fifth International Francophone Conference on 'Opioid
Dependence Treatment: TDOs at the meeting point of science
and human rights'.
Long term objectives
The objective of MedNET is to promote
cooperation and mutual exchange of knowledge between
Mediterranean countries (North-South and South-North) and
within Mediterranean countries (South-South), in particular
- developing and implementing coherent and
balanced policies on drugs which respect human rights and
incorporate the gender dimension, and are based on evidence
collected by national observatories
- improving public
health and implementing drug policies in the region while
respecting human rights and the needs expressed by the
- strengthening the political and democratic
process in the region by promoting the right to health of
drug users and supporting the necessary legislative reforms.
Creation and development
The Pompidou Group started its activities in the
Mediterranean region in Malta in 1999 with a conference on
‘cooperation in the Mediterranean region on drug use’.
Following this conference, the magnitude of the drug problem
in Algeria, Morocco and Lebanon was studied for the first
time in the region as part of the ‘Mediterranean School
Survey Project on Alcohol and other drugs in Schools’
(MedSPAD). This project provides an overview of drug use
among young people in schools in the Mediterranean region
and their attitudes towards drugs.
In 2006, at the
initiative of France and the Netherlands, the Mediterranean
Network (MedNET) was created with the participation of
Algeria, Morocco, Malta and Tunisia and the commitment of
the Pompidou Group to coordinate and manage the network. It
was created for a period of one year, at the end of which
its smooth functioning was recognised. The network has
continued its activities ever since.
are undergoing constant development and are helping promote
effective and appropriate responses to drug use through
exchange of good practices and regional cooperation in the
fields of research on the situation of drug use, prevention,
addiction care and treatment, and implementation of the law.
Since 2012, MedNET has worked in partnership with the South
Programme, which is funded by the European Union and
implemented by the Council of Europe in order to strengthen
democratic reform in the Southern neighbourhood. The South
II Programme is continuing in 2015-2017 under the heading
‘Towards strengthened democratic governance in the Southern
Functioning of the network
In each country, the ministry in
charge of drug issues designates a national representative
authorised to act on behalf of the government.
representatives of the 14 countries (Algeria, Cyprus,
Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta,
Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia,
Turkey and Palestine) meet twice a year.
spring meeting takes place in Strasbourg on the occasion of
the meeting of the Permanent Correspondents of the Pompidou
Group, since seven MedNET countries (Cyprus, France, Greece,
Italy, Malta, Morocco and Portugal) are also members of the
During this meeting, the Committee of
MedNET Correspondents reviews the programme’s implementation
in the first half of that year. The programme can be
adjusted in light of current events and emerging priorities
in the different countries.
The autumn meeting is held on
the occasion of a major MedNET event in order to give
visibility and to achieve economies of scale (so the MedNET
Correspondents attend both events).
During this meeting,
the committee adopts an activity report for that year and
the programme for the following year on the basis of
activity proposals made by each country and on the basis of
regional activities. The programme is adopted by consensus
on the basis of the available budget for the year.
network’s flexible functioning allows it to respond rapidly
to new demands.
communication and transparency results
The network is aimed at professionals
in the field: medical personnel, social workers, NGO
representatives, researchers, administrators in the field of
prevention, health and law enforcement, and policymakers.
When initiated in 2006, the network project was aimed at
North Africa. In Europe, its partners were France, the
Netherlands and Malta. Since then, the network has been
expanded to twelve countries. Lebanon, Italy, Spain and
Portugal joined in 2007, Tunisia in 2009, Jordan, Egypt and
Cyprus in 2010 and Greece in 2011. Spain withdrew in 2013.
There were therefore twelve countries participating
Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan,
Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia.
On 30 November 2016
Pompidou Group member Turkey is joining MedNET, as is
Palestine. The network now comprises 14 countries that will
work together to develop and implement the MedNET 2017
Country profiles: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon,
Morocco, Tunisia (in French, English and Arabic) 2014
MedNET’s Impact reports: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan,
Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia (in French, English and Arabic)
The MedNET countries express their opinion on the impact of
the cooperation activities:
During the 14th MedNET meeting in Rabat, the representatives
of ten MedNET countries participating in the event spoke
about the impact of the MedNET cooperation on their
Interview by Mr. Jallal Toufiq, Morocco (French only)
Interview by Mr. Richard Muscat, Malta
Interview by Mr. Ramzi Haddad, Lebanon (French only)
Interview by Mr. Abdullah Al Khraisat,
Jordan (Arab only)
Interview by Ms. Elisabetta Simeoni, Italy
Interview by Ms. Minerva Malliori, Greece
Interview by Ms. Danièle Jourdain-Menninger, France (French only)
Interview by Mr. Emad Hamdi-Ghoz, Egypt
Interview by Ms. Leda Christodoulou, Cyprus
Financing of the network
The budget is financed mainly through
voluntary contributions, including in 2006 from the
Netherlands and France, followed by Cyprus, Italy, Portugal
and Spain in later years.
In 2016, the funding continues
to come from voluntary contributions from France and Italy.
The budget is also financed by the South II Programme and
additional funding (Norway’s 2016-2017 contribution for
Morocco and Tunisia as part of the Council of Europe’s
Results and achievements
Drug use among teenagers in the
Mediterranean is being revealed by the MedSPAD survey
After the success of the first MedSPAD survey, which
was an adaptation of the ESPAD school surveys in Europe,
MedSPAD surveys were conducted at national level in Lebanon
in 2008 and in Morocco in 2009. 2013 saw the MedSPAD
repeated in Morocco and the implementation of MedSPAD in
Tunisia, demonstrating the importance of this instrument for
recording the drug use of young people in school and their
attitudes towards this drug use. In 2015, it was the turn of
Egypt to launch the survey, followed by Algeria in 2016.
The MedSPAD committee published a report in 2015 on the
prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and drug use among
adolescents. This is the only report to date which covers
data from nine countries: Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy,
Lebanon, Morocco, Malta, Portugal and Tunisia. This is a
first step and a first attempt to present data from Europe,
North Africa and the Middle East.
First regional MedSPAD report: A First
Glance at the Situation in the Mediterranean Region in
Relation to the Prevalence of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Use
among Adolescents (P-PG/Med(2015)27)
MedSPAD Tunisia report 2013 (P-PG/Med(2014)19)
MedSPAD Morocco report 2009, 2013 (P-PG/MedNET(2014)22)
Guidelines for the Mediterranean School Survey Project
on Alcohol and Other Drugs (MedSPAD)
MedSPAD Lebanon report 2009
Le rôle de la recherche scientifique dans l’élaboration
des politiques drogues, actes séminaire Alger, décembre 2006
(in French and in Arabic)
Validity and reliability of school surveys based on the
ESPAD methodology in Algeria, Libya and Morocco, 2004
drugs and addictions are being created in the Mediterranean
The Moroccan Observatory on Drugs and Addiction
published its first report in 2015. The Egyptian Observatory
on Drugs and Addiction has developed a data collection
system on treatment.
TDI (Treatment Demand Indicator) protocol is now available
Annual report of the National Observatory on Drugs and
Addiction - Morocco 2014
drugs are evolving and national drug strategies are
A National Substance Use
Strategy was launched in Beirut on 22 December 2016 with the
Pompidou Group’s support for its development and
implementation in 2017.
The report on the National Drug Strategy for Lebanon is now
Meeting the needs for treatments and treatment centres
in Egypt (Egypt, March 2012)
Report prepared by the
General Secretariat of Mental Health of the Ministry of
Health and Population as part of the ‘Filling the Gap’
Situational Needs Assessment (Lebanon, September 2011)
Report prepared by Skoun (Lebanese Addiction Centre) as part
of the ‘Filling the Gap’ project
prevention activities are being implemented
Prevention material is being produced in Morocco, an
advice and information centre for young people has been
created in Lebanon, a life skills programme has been set up
in schools in Lebanon, staff working in the nightlife
industry have undergone training.
building is multiplying
Specialists are being trained, courses on addiction
studies have been created in Morocco and Tunisia, training
seminars in Algeria have been organised.
Education and training on disorders related to substance
use 2013 (P-PG/Res-Edu(2013)4)
Syllabus of the Rabat University Diploma in addiction
Tunis postgraduate certificate in addiction studies
Formation de formateurs sur la mise en œuvre de projets
de prévention en matière de toxicomanie en Algérie,
séminaire de formation à Zeralda, Batna, Oran et Ghardaia en
Support pédagogique (in French
Actes – prise en charge des toxicomanes, séminaires de
formation et médecins dans le cadre du projet MedNET, 1er
semestre 2008, Algérie (in French and
Programme de maintenance à la méthadone au Maroc,
octobre 2008 (in French)
the field of law enforcement is being extended
The MedNET member countries are included in the Pompidou
Group’s law enforcement activities.
to care for all drug users is being improved
Opioid substitution treatment has been introduced in
Morocco and Lebanon. In Algeria, Opioid Substitution
Treatment is being launched in a pilot phase. Specialised
services for women are being created in Egypt and services
for teenagers are being developed in Egypt.
Final report for adolescent addiction service
development Egypt (P-PG/Med(2016)21)
OST seminar in Algeria (this document availabe in French and
gender dimension is gradually being integrated into drug
Specific needs of women are being taken into account.
of a report on the development of specialised
services for the care of pregnant drug users in Egypt.