RYCO Open Call for projects

Six countries of Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia founded the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) in July 2016 aiming to promote the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation between the youth in the region through youth exchange programs.

RYCO’s main objectives are:

  • Exchange and mobility: Increased mobility and exchange of young people and their key workers in the Western Balkans, which is fully representative of the diversity of the Western Balkan region.
  • Sectorial development: Greater competence among voluntary and/or professionals/youth workers accompanying young people in youth, education, sport, culture activities, dealing with reconciliation, intercultural learning and other regional topics through exchange and mobility.

RYCO launched its first Open Call for project proposals of civil society organizations and high schools in the field of promoting reconciliation in the region through increasing youth mobility, cooperation and activism. RYCO wants to empower youth for setting the road to better cooperation in the Western Balkans and ensure further progress towards European integration of the region.

The overall financial envelope for this call is EUR 900, 000. Requested budget should be between 10.000 and 35.000 Euros. Deadline for applications is 15 November 2017.

Full information about the Call is available from the RYCO webpage following this LINK>>>

Info sessions are organised in each of the Western Balkans countries. You can find the schedule of the sessions following this LINK>>>

Treatment and Harm reduction services in the context of the economic crisis

DPNSEE member organisations Diogenis organised conference “Treatment and Harm reduction services in the context of the economic crisis, developments and challenges” from 19 to 21 October 2017 in Nicosia, Cyprus. The conference aimed to provide knowledge about the developments and challenges concerning
treatment and harm reduction services in the context of the economic crisis in countries of South
and South East Europe and to discuss possibilities which can guarantee the continuity, quality and
further development of services.

This conference is part of the project “New Approaches in harm reduction policies and practices”, financially supported by the European Commission. Transnational Institute from The Netherlands is the lead organisation of the project and partners are Diogenis, Drug Policy Dialogue from Greece, Forum Droghe from Italy and the International Centre for Ethnobotanical Education from Belgium.

Issues discussed at the conference included:

  • The way in which the competent authorities and the responsible service providers reacted to the economic crisis; the role of Civil Society Organisations in this respect and the lessons learned for securing the continuation of harm reduction and treatment services to drug users.
  • Strategies and action plans for effective harm reduction advocacy at the national level.
  • Developments on cannabis policy in South and South East Europe countries. Regulation of cannabis for medical purposes.
  • Decriminalisation of drug possession for personal use.
  • Supervised consumption sites.
  • Recent developments in countries of South and South East Europe.

The conference also paid attention to the new EU Action plan on drugs 2017-2020 and the developments in drug policy on the international level.

Diogenis cooperated with researchers from different countries, who were responsible to conduct interviews based on a research questionnaire and summarize the outcomes of these interviews in a related short report. All reports were collected and presented in a paper which was the background of the discussion at the conference.

Participants were representatives of civil society, national agencies and experts from 12 European countries. They had the opportunity to exchange information, good practices and policies on drugs in their countries as well as Europe-wide, amid economic difficulties and social challenges in Europe.

Peti dani javnih politika

Grupa za analizu i kreiranje javnih politika, Centar za javnu upravu, lokalnu samoupravu i javne politike Fakulteta političkih nauka uz podršku Konrad Adenauer fondacije i PERFORM-a objavljuju konkurs za učesnike/ce petih Dana javnih politika koji će biti održani na Fakultetu političkih nauka Univerziteta u Beogradu, od 27. do 29. oktobra 2017. godine.

Teme petih Dana javnih politika biće: građevinska politika, javno zagovaranje kao nauka i umetnost, uloga građana u promeni javnih politika, privatnost na internetu, cirkularna ekonomija, reforma javne uprave, politika RS prema psihoaktivnim supstancama na kome između ostalih učestvuje i Mreža za politike prema drogama u jugoistočnoj Evropi. O temama će govoriti kreatori i donosioci odluka i politika, predstavnici akademske javnosti, privatnog sektora, državnih institucija i organizacija civilnog društva. U toku petka i subote biće organizovane i radionice sa ciljem da učesnicima približi proces kreiranja javnih politika.

Pravo da se prijave na konkurs imaju diplomci i studenti/studentkinje svih akreditovanih fakulteta u Republici Srbiji, predstavnici organizacija civilnog društva, donosioci odluka i aktivisti/kinje političkih partija.

Za prijavu na konkurs potrebno je da pošaljete Vaš CV na adresu: konkurs@gajp.org

Učešće na Danima javnih politika je besplatno. Učesnici će po završetku dobiti sertifikat. Broj učesnika je ograničen.
Rok za prijave je 20. oktobar, u 23:59 časova. Naknadne i nepotpune prijave neće biti razmatrane.

Za sva dodatna pitanja u vezi sa konkursom i Danima javnih politika kontaktirajte GAJP na:


ili preko društvenih mreža:
Twitter: @nvoGAJP

Više o prethodnim Danima javnih politika možete pogledati na sajtu:

DPNSEE participation on Rational Drug Regulations Conference

From 4 to 6 October in Brno, Czech Republic, the Conference on Rational Drug Regulation was held, organised by A.N.O. – Asociace nestatnichne ziskovych organizaci a Spolecnost Podaneruce o.p.s

The conference had an aim to start the dialogue and question social, political and professional attitudes that are going through phase of change that we can witness. At the states level we see examples of changing policies regarding cannabis for example, but on the other hand we still see policymakers practice the so call war on drugs. Rationality of Drug Regulations Conference aimed to open space for the dialogue regarding how these trends are reflecting on the local level? How are the local governments, relevant activist groups or organisations, activist groups, police forces, schools dealing with this changing situations? The Conference aimed primarily at professionals; however, it was also open to members of public interested in the topics.

Within the panel “Harm reduction: Between professionalization and activism”, DPNSEE Staff member Irena Molnar was representing the cases of SEE, and from this point of view she was presenting case study “Serbia’s Drug Policy Crossroad – Will EU accession period bring more balanced approach to (recreational) drug use?“

The conference also discussed topics on: How are these trends reflected at the local level? How are they advocated, explained and interpreted by the general public? What direct experience do the specific villages, towns, neighbourhoods, and streets have with these? How are the local governments, relevant organizations, activist groups, police forces, schools or helping network services dealing with the changing situation of the drug regulation?

More about conference program and keynote speakers you can find on the conference website. Also, check the book of abstracts

Long way to make good changes in the Law

Ministry of Health of Serbia proposed changes to the Law on psychoactive controlled substances at the end of 2016. Very limited proposal and the public debate which was organised during 4 weeks of festive days caused serious concern among civil society organisations in Serbia. DPNSEE with two member organisations Prevent and Re Generacija, along with three other partner organisations, made large number of comments and proposals to improve the draft.

Unfortunately, there were no reply from the Ministry for more than 9 months. Finally, with the support of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, a meeting was organised on 4 October to discuss our contribution. Representatives from the Ministry of Health, Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, Office for combating drug abuse and Ministry of Interior met with the aim to present civil society organisations comments and proposals and exchange about which of them should be incorporated into the next version of the draft.

Although we were prepared for qualified discussion about our proposals, it turned out that the Working group in the Ministry of Health already prepared the next draft and that some of our proposals were accepted. Despite the requests to specify which proposals were accepted and which not and why, the representatives of the Ministry remained on the position that it will be possible only when this new version will be sent for the next round of consultations.

The meeting had a limited success because we presented comprehensive and qualified approach to dealing with legislation and stayed on our positions regarding very important issues related to drugs: need to ensure involvement of civil society organisations in all issues related to drug use, wider set of services of the early warning system that is to be established (including field work and consulting), right to bring samples of substances for checking, wider distribution of naloxone around the country, use of language that will not stigmatise people who use drugs, respecting the right to information and protection of sensitive information, better coordination of all the stakeholders, especially reporting about drugs, etc. The proposed amendments to the Law still have to pass a few levels to come to the Parliament and we are ready to keep advocating for a better Law.

International Narcotics Control Strategy Report

The Department of State’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) is an annual report by the US Department of State to Congress prepared in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act. The report for 2016 was published in March this year.

The INCSR is the United States Government’s country-by-country two volume report that describes the efforts to attack all aspects of the international drug trade, chemical control, money laundering and financial crimes. It describes the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade in Calendar Year 2016. Volume I covers drug and chemical control activities. Volume II covers money laundering and financial crimes.

INSCR is a valuable tool when assessing the risks relating to geography and jurisdiction. It highlights the most significant steps countries and jurisdictions categorized as “Major Money Laundering Countries”, defined by statute as one “whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking”. Countries of South East Europe which were categorise as such in 2016 are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Turkey.

The report also includes country files for most of the SEE countries.

The report may be downloaded from the US Department of State website following this LINK>>>

Multi-stakeholder workshop on UN Convention against Corruption in Southeast Europe

UNODC hosted the first multi-stakeholder workshop on the United Nations Convention against Corruption and its Review Mechanism in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 25 to 29 September 2017. As the first such workshop held in Southeast Europe, the event aimed to develop capacities of around 60 participants across the region to contribute to the implementation of the Convention and its Review Mechanism.

The UN Convention against Corruption, ratified by 182 States, is the only legally binding, universal, anti-corruption instrument. Its far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to global corruption issues.

The Convention covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The Convention covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.

At the first review cycle, approximately 85 per cent of Governments involved civil society organizations in their country visits, building momentum to uphold their treaty obligations. The workshop, in this regard, reiterated the importance of this practice during the second review cycle, especially in the Southeast Europe region. It also aimed to promote collaboration between all relevant stakeholders.

Supported by the Austrian Development Agency through the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative, and by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the training informed participants about the methodology and tools for country reviews and build their capacity to reproduce workshop sessions at the national and regional levels. Participants engaged in a constructive dialogue by sharing their experiences, lessons learned and good practices, as well as undertaking practical exercises.

Milutin Milošević, the DPNSEE Executive Director, and Sanja Šišović CAZAS, Montenegro, participated in the workshop. That allowed them to gain a good insight in the Convention and opportunities to join the review process.

Treatment Systems in Prisons in Eastern and Southeastern Europe

Pompidou Group – Council of Europe Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs, published a new publication “Drug Treatment Systems in Prisons in Eastern and Southeastern Europe”. The publication sheds light into the situation of drug users among criminal justice populations and corresponding health care responses in ten countries in Eastern and Southeastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Prisons differ across different countries, as do prisoner populations. In some of the countries in the study there is an almost complete unavailability of effective drug dependence treatment (e.g. Opiate Agonist Treatment), or the potential of these treatment has not been exploited yet to its full. But also models of good practice exist in a few of the researched countries.

The publication is a product of the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe project “Improving Drug Treatment Systems in prisons” which was financed by Luxembourg.

DPNSEE Chairperson Tijana Žegura and Secretary of the Board Denis Dedajić contributed to the publication.

Those interested in downloading the publication should follow this LINK>>>

Move. Link. Engage.

The Belgrade Open School, together with the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society of Government of Serbia, organized the Third Annual Regional Conference ’’Move. Link. Engage – Rethinking Europe and Western Balkans’, on 18th and 19th of September in Belgrade. The Conference was supported by ’Europe for Citizens’ Program and Kingdom of Sweden. The goal of the Conference was to promote and encourage regional approach in solving shared problems and better cooperation among citizens and civil society in the European Integration Process.

At the main panel of the Conference, titled ’Western Balkans in Motion: Berlin Process Aftermath’, prominent speakers and participants stressed out the importance of the Berlin Process, which is recognized through shifting focus towards economic and social questions and contribution to European Integration Process of all states in the region. Participants of the session dedicated to the Civil Society Participation in European Integration Process came to the conclusion that civil society is the bridge between decision makers and the citizens, and that it is important to build alliances founded in European values and closely watch and follow the decisions that authorities make on behalf of citizens. Civil society organizations agreed that there would be no progress in the European Integration process without strong institutions and common values, and pointed out that European Integration Process should be founded in citizens’ participation in developing public policies, transparency and accountability.

During the conference, a regional workshop was organized, dedicated to project preparation within ’Europe for Citizens’ Program, as well as official diploma awarding ceremony for 24th generation of students of the ’Future studies’ Program of Belgrade Open School.

The Conference gathered more than 200 participants, numerous representatives of organizations from Serbia and the region, representatives of institutions and foundations, as well as representatives of the media, researches, activists and students. Milutin Milošević, the Executive Director, represented DPNSEE at the conference. That was a good opportunity to meet with peers from the civil society sector and representatives of authorities.

Support to the EHRN Steering Committee and Secretariat

The Drug Policy Network South East Europe was informed about problems in the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network that resulted in EHRN Secretariat staff quitting the organization and the Steering Committee resigning and creation of a new structure: the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association.

Strongly supporting our colleagues from the EHRN Steering Committee and Secretariat, DPNSEE sent a letter which you can find bellow.