France was elected chair of the Pompidou
Group for four years on 3rd November 2010 during the 15th ministerial conference
of the group.
Since 12 September 2012, it is represented by Danielle Jourdain-Menninger, President of the French Interministerial Mission Against Drug Abuse (MILDT), and Mrs Laura D'Arrigo, the diplomatic advisor of the MILDT.
Until then, the French Presidency was represented by Etienne Apaire (former President of the MILDT). In this framework, Mr Apaire wished to reinforce the added value and the impact of Pompidou Group's activities and enhance its complementarity with other existing international organisations.
Interview with Etienne Apaire
2011-2014 Work Programme of the Pompidou Group
|Priorities of the French Presidency
On 30 March 2011, Etienne Apaire presented his priorities to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. During this hearing, Mr. Apaire underlined the fact that “in a rapid changing world, notably in the field of drugs, [the Group should] take up the responsibility of reflecting on the future, conduct exchanges within the Greater Europe and be a pioneer for new political initiatives”.
Speech given to the Committee of Ministers
On 9 March 2012, an exchange of views took place between Etienne Apaire, President of the MILDT and President of the Pompidou Group, and the members of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) who met in Paris at the National Assembly. During this meeting, Etienne Apaire drew up an overview on drugs in Europe. After recalling the mission and strengths of the Pompidou Group, he presented the priorities of the French Presidency. For Etienne Apaire, the role of the Pompidou Group may be essential as regards the exchange of good practices within the wider European, the innovation in policy initiatives as well as the practical achievements both in the field of prevention and care and the fight against drug trafficking. He also wants the Group's activities to fall within the framework of the great achievements of the Council of Europe in view of promoting and protecting democracy, defending human rights and building the rule of law in Europe. He stated "We share (in Europe) a problem affecting the health and safety of our citizens, our duty is to protect them from drugs. The challenge is great, we share the responsibility. Our response must be up to the expectations, comprehensive and solidarity based. In order to achieve this, I rely on the support of you all.”
On 10 April 2012 in Strasbourg, Etienne Apaire has met Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, not only to report on the work and state of the arts after one year and a half mandate of the French Presidency of the Pompidou Group but also to look into future perspectives. The discussion also focused on the assets of the pan-European forum that allows for rapid responses to emerging issues (drugs in the workplace, chemical precursors diversion, treatment) and for cooperation activities (Mediterranean Region, South-Eastern Europe) where a balanced membership is essential to exchange good practices at a large scale.