Version 18 October 2006

Tasks and Responsibilities in the Pompidou Group

I. The purpose of the Pompidou Group

1. The Pompidou Group’s core mission is to contribute to the development of effective and evidence-based drug policies in its member states. It seeks to link policy, practice and science and it focuses particularly on the realities of the implementation of drug programmes.

2. The Group’s governance is organized on four levels: the Ministerial Conference, the Permanent Correspondents, the Bureau of the Permanent Correspondents and the platforms and projects.

II. The Ministerial Conference

1. The Ministerial Conference (MinConf) is the political authority of the PG. In principle it is held every four years. Supplementary Conferences may be held at the discretion of the Member State that holds the Presidency of the Group. It is attended by Ministers having responsibility for drugs policies in their own countries. Ministers from non-Member States may also attend, subject to a specific decision being taken by the Group to that end. The non-binding nature of the Group’s work means that the conference also provides Ministers with an opportunity for open and non-binding discussions between themselves.

2. As the political authority for the Group, the role of the Ministerial Conference is to formulate the strategic direction of, and priorities for, the Group’s work. Ministers consider a report drawn up by the Permanent Correspondents on the activities of the past four years and the signals for policy and practice that it contains; and they approve the work programme for the coming period. The principal objectives of the work are to:

    · collect of signals about needs, problems and experiences from practice
    · address ethics and human rights aspects
    · promote the evidence/knowledge base of policy and practice whilst acknowledging and exploring the limitations and possibilities of this approach;
    · bridge and fill gaps in linking between policy, practice and research,
    · facilitate communication between professionals of various disciplines,
    · facilitate cooperation with EU and non-EU countries;
    · facilitate coordination of activities between different international organisations;
    · facilitate mediation of different approaches to legal and illegal substances.

3. The Ministerial Conference elects a Presidency and Vice-Presidency for the next period. The Presidency nominates the Chair for the Permanent Correspondents (see below), and also hosts the next Ministerial Conference. The Council of Europe headquarters are available to hold ministerial meetings should a Presidency not wish to hold the Ministerial Conference in its own country.

III. The Permanent Correspondents

1. The Permanent Correspondents are the officials from each Member State of the Pompidou Group who represent their Ministers. They meet twice a year.

2. The meetings of the Permanent Correspondents are essentially the forum of open debate where policy advisors come together to discuss effective responses to drugs problems based in particular on the signals and results generated by the activities. Bringing to bear their knowledge and expertise on the drugs policies, practices and situations in their home countries, their specific tasks are to:

    (i) organise their regular meetings as a forum for open discussions and non-binding conclusions;
    (ii) propose work programmes;
    (iii) consider the results and products emerging from the activities;
    (iv) prepare the Ministerial Conferences and approve the documentation that goes to them;
    (v) select Permanent Correspondents as Coordinators for each Platform and the respective thematic field;
    (vi) monitor the progress of the Group’s activities (2 Work Programme 2007 - 2010);
    (vii) ensure that the outcomes of the Group’s are adequately related back to their own authorities, so that they may be made use of in the formulation of policy and practice as individual Governments and practitioners in Member States may consider appropriate or useful.

3. The Chairperson of the Permanent Correspondents is nominated by the Member State holding the Presidency. That State may nominate an additional representative as Permanent Correspondent. If on any occasion a Member State holding the Presidency is unable to provide a Chairperson, the State holding the vice-presidency will do so.

4. The Chairperson is entitled to the reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses for certain additional duties performed in office, based on the rules of the Council of Europe, and within the limitations of the budget provision for this purpose.

5. The Permanent Correspondent from the Member State holding the Vice-Presidency is the Vice-Chairperson of the PCs whose responsibility is to deputise for the Chairperson when necessary.

IV. Bureau of the Permanent Correspondents

1. The Bureau of the Permanent Correspondents essentially manages the activities of the Group. Its membership is comprised of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson of Permanent Correspondents and the Co-ordinators of the Platforms. In principle it meets four times per year.

2. The Bureau’s tasks are to take the day-to-day decisions between meetings of Permanent Correspondents, specifically:

    (i) ensuring the multisectoral coherence of the work;
    (ii) supervising the implementation of activities;
    (iii) deciding requests for ad hoc activities;
    (iv) monitoring the expenditure for activities;
    (v) reporting to Permanent Correspondents on the progress of work;
    (vi) preparing the meetings of the Permanent Correspondents.

V. Platforms

    1. The Pompidou Group’s main work has been focused around specific “Platforms” of expertise. The main functions of the Platforms are to introduce practitioners’ knowledge and experience into the policy making process and to identify and promote examples of good practice in the successful implementation of policies.

    2. The draft 2007 – 2010 Work Programme proposes 6 Platforms. 4 Platforms address specific fields of drugs policies: the (i) prevention, (ii) treatment, (iii) criminal justice and regulatory issues, (iv) airports Platforms. 2 Platforms are of a multisectoral nature and address issues of interdisciplinary and transversal importance: (i) the Research Platform and (ii) the Ethics and Human Rights Platform. The Platforms address the themes and implement the activities specifically set out for each Platform in the Work Programme). For further details on the work of these Platforms please refer to the section ‘Working Methods’ in the 2 Work Programme 2007 – 2010.

    3. Platform participants are nominated by the Member States based on profiles for Platform members drawn up by the Coordinators. In drawing up participant profiles, the Coordinators have regard to the themes and activities set out in the Work Programme (2 Work Programme 2007 - 2010). The duration of the mandate for participation is specified in the profiles.

    4. Essentially, the Platforms are mandated to:

    (i) Select the appropriate working methods for meetings, including the number of meetings and activities, within the budgetary framework provided and based on the rules governing the activities of the Council of Europe.
    (ii) Provide, for consideration by the Permanent Correspondents and, ultimately, Ministers, information about, and indicators from, current experience, recent developments and trends; and about barriers and challenges in practice.
    (iii) Prepare annual reports outlining the outcomes from Platform activities.
    (iv) Propose themes for future work to the Permanent Correspondents.
    (v) Assist in the review of terms of reference.

    5. Each Platform has a Coordinator, who is selected by the Permanent Correspondents and is member of a national delegation. Coordinators are responsible for:

    (i) guiding and supervising the Platform’s work,
    (ii) chairing Platform meetings,
    (iii) participating in Platform related activities as representative of the Permanent Correspondents,
    (iv) liaising with other Coordinators to ensure that transversal issues and questions of multi-disciplinary interest are addressed by relevant Platforms,
    (v) ensuring adequate quality and appropriate format of the output of activities,
    (vi) presenting the Platforms’ work and outcomes in the meetings of the Permanent Correspondents.

VI. Projects

    1. The work programme also includes a variety of specific activities, such as bilateral and multilateral cooperation projects, pilot studies, training activities. The number, form and frequency of these implementation activities vary according to the subject, and are set out in the Work Programme. Bilateral and multilateral projects implemented in Member States are aimed at exploring practical, innovatory solutions with special emphasis on local issues, specific needs and identified target groups.

    2. This area of Pompidou Group activity can be a useful source for evidence generated by practice that can be relayed to Ministers, PCs and experts.

    3. Activity proposals for inclusion in the Work Programme made by governmental and non-governmental organisations and institutions in Member States shall be submitted through the PC of that country. If they are small scale activities, the can be approved by the Bureau; the Bureau may consider that such an application should be considered by the Permanent Correspondents.

    4. International cooperation commitments (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs [ESPAD], Mediterranean School Survey Project on Alcohol [MEDSPAD], [GAP], Health in Prison [HIPP]) and inter-agency work (European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction [EMCDDA], World Health Organisation [WHO], United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Problems [UNODC], Horizontal Drugs Group [HDG] etc.) on specific issues, programmes or projects help to pursue topics of common interest while avoiding overlap and creating synergies and increasing the political relevance and impact.

VII. The Secretariat

1. Within the institutional framework of the Council of Europe, which is based in Strasbourg, France, the Secretariat assists in the preparation, implementation and facilitation of the Pompidou Group’s activities and organises its various meetings. It reports to the Bureau and the PCs. The Secretariat, where necessary, engages external experts to supply specific expertise.

2. The Secretariat also monitors the synergy of other relevant activities within the Council of Europe. And it works in close contact with the Platform Coordinators to ensure practical and thematic links between Platforms.

3. Specifically, the Secretariat’s functions are:

    (i[) To facilitate the implementation of activities;
    (ii) To manage the Group’s budget ;
    (iii) To contribute to the quality of the Group’s activities
    (iv) Communication and information
    (v) Process evaluation

VIII. Planning & Evaluation

    1. In order to improve the transparency of planning and control the Group’s work programme should only include activities that are based on adequate implementation plans with realistic targets and are covered by appropriate resources.

    2. An effective use of funds requires on-going monitoring and evaluation to ensure that set objectives are reached and anticipated results are achieved. In order to facilitate an effective planning and evaluation process, a logical frame work (log-frame) has been developed that must be used in the planning and implementation of all activities. The log-frame is adapted from the standard log-frames in use by the Council of Europe for the management of its Programme of Activities.

    3. The Secretariat is responsible for maintaining an up-to date log-frame that is available to the experts groups and/or Platforms that oversee an activity, as well as to the Permanent Correspondents and the Bureau. The log-frames are maintained under the restricted pages of the Pompidou Group Website according to the field of activity:

    4. Pompidou Group’s website :: contains relevant information and up-dates on the activities of the Pompidou Group.


    5. Restricted areas of the Pompidou Group’s website (for Permanent Correspondents or certain Platforms) can be accessed through the button RESTRICTED AREA on the Pompidou Group’s website. User IDs and passwords are allocated by the Secretariat.

6. Some projects and activities of the Pompidou Group may have special websites containing activity log-frames. A sample log-frame is available as a model for the planning and implementation of activities under the 2007 -2010 Work Programme. The model log-frame can be adapted to the specificities of individual activities.