The Pompidou Group is the Council of Europe’s drug policy cooperation platform. It is an inter-governmental body established in 1971 at the initiative of the then French President Georges Pompidou. It upholds the core values of the Council of Europe – human rights, democracy and the rule of law – and promotes a balanced approach in the response to drug use and illicit trafficking in drugs, supporting both demand and supply reduction. The Pompidou Group offers a forum for open debate, exchange of experiences and, as a platform for science and evidence-based innovation, it links policy, research and practice. At present the Group is made up of 41 Member States, and its technical cooperation also involves other countries all over the world, in particular around the Mediterranean.

The Pompidou Group

The Pompidou Group’s core mission is to contribute to the development of multidisciplinary, innovative, effective and evidence-based drug policies in its Member States.

It seeks to link Policy, Practice and Science and focuses especially on the realities of local implementation of drug programmes.

The shifting, dynamic nature of the drug phenomenon has required the Group to adapt its role in order to deal with emerging problems and changes in the drug situation. Flexibility and capacity for innovation are two key attributes that have assisted the Group in meeting this challenge.

Against an international background characterized by the presence of many European and international bodies working on drugs, the Pompidou Group provides a multidisciplinary forum at the wider European level where it is possible for policy-makers, professionals and researchers to discuss and exchange information and ideas on the whole range of drug misuse and trafficking problems. In order to carry out this mission, it adopts a multidisciplinary, integrated approach to all drug problems and employs a variety of working methods.

In addition, the Pompidou Group undertakes a bridging role both between EU and non-EU European countries and towards neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean region.

Because of its links with the Council of Europe it also ensures that policy recommendations are consistent with public policy as elaborated in other fields of Council work, such as public health, social cohesion and penal policy, with particular emphasis on ethical issues and respect of Human Rights.