50 years of successful co-operation on drug policies and human rights - the Pompidou Group provides tools that enable decision makers to implement effective measures to reduce drug trafficking, better treat substance use disorders and address the associated negative impacts in society.
18th Ministerial Conference of the Pompidou Group (13-14 December 2022)
As part of the Council of Europe, the continent’s unique intergovernmental organisation devoted to the promotion of human rights, the Pompidou Group – named after the former French President who initiated its creation – places human rights at the heart of drug and addiction policies. Its wide-ranging expertise, built up over more than 50 years, provides political guidance and practical tools that help decision-makers in its 41 member states to carry out measures to reduce drugs trafficking and drug use, better treat substance use disorders and resolve negative impacts of addictions in society.
The road map for the Pompidou Group’s future action is contained in the Lisbon Declaration and the related work programme for 2023-2025, which were both adopted at the Ministerial Conference hosted by the outgoing Portuguese Presidency on 13-14 December 2022. On this occasion, Italy has been elected as the new Presidency, and Switzerland as the Vice-Presidency (read more).
- Achievements, results and key messages - Report on the activities of the Pompidou Group Work Programme 2019-2022
Training of drug policy managers
The Pompidou Group has contributed to the development of know-how and capacities for more effective implementation, management and evaluation of drug policies, through its training concept designed for executives and managers in the field of drug policy and related services. The Executive Training on Drug Policy has become an integral part of the Pompidou Group’s International Drug Policy Academy launched in 2021.
Policy markers and monitoring of drug use
The Pompidou Group has supported policy makers in developing coherent policy markers for licit and illicit drugs. These can be used to improve national action plans and strategies based on evidence-related research, guidelines, manuals and good practice inventories. Data collection methods and indicators on drug use developed by the Pompidou Group led to the creation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and paved the way for the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD).
Thanks to the work accomplished within MedNET, the Pompidou Group’s Mediterranean network for co-operation on drugs and addictions, the first observatories on drugs and addictions were set up in the south Mediterranean region, drug use among teenagers was evaluated and national drug strategies were improved by integrating a human rights and gender dimension.
Controlling drug trafficking
The Pompidou Group’s Airports Group assists customs and police officers across member states in controlling drug trafficking in airports and general aviation. The Group also facilitates co-operation between law enforcement agencies and private industries in tackling drug precursor diversion and monitoring the drug trade online.
Criminal justice and prisons
The Pompidou Group’s Criminal Justice and Prison Programme supports governments in developing evidence-informed criminal justice policies and comprehensive drug treatment systems in prisons. The various projects carried out under the Programme have supported governments, public administrations and civil society organisations in improving drug treatment programmes and the social re-integration of detainees with a history of drug use in an effort to reduce relapse and recidivism.
Drug prevention and education
Civil society involvement
The Pompidou Group has facilitated civil society involvement in policy development and implementation. Its policy paper on interaction between government and civil society organisations provides guidance and tools for decision makers and policy managers to develop practical and meaningful ways of involving civil society in all stages of policy making.
Engaging young people
The Pompidou Group has highlighted the importance and value of involving young people in prevention by bringing together young people and decision makers at the international level. Launched in 2004 and awarded every two years, the European Drug Prevention Prize was the brainchild of two European consultative fora involving young people.
The Pompidou Group has pioneered and supported the inclusion of a gender dimension in drug policies in Europe. It has provided a better understanding of the connection between violence experienced by women and drug use, the gender dimension of non-medical use of prescription drugs and gender-specific needs in the treatment of substance use.
Working together on the local and international level
The Pompidou Group has contributed to improving public safety and health at local level by creating networks of practitioners and frontline workers that have developed practical solutions to pressing issues such as open drug scenes in cities, drug use among internally displaced persons and the health situation of people who use drugs (PWUD) in the context of COVID-19. Frontline workers united under the Group’s European network of practitioners EXASS Net promoted hands-on drug policy actions, transcultural drug work, and early intervention. The Pompidou Group has linked actions at the local level with strategic co-operation on the international level by aligning policies and actions with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The Group has also built bridges over continents to encourage mutual learning in drug policy co-operation, for example with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).