Czech drug policy model preserved

A week ago, we posted a news with an urgent call to support the Open letter to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic to preserve its successful drug policy model, as our colleagues from the Czech Republic informed the international community that the Prime Minister is intending to move the Secretariat of the Council for Drug Coordination and its monitoring centre from the Office of the Government to the Ministry of Health.

DPNSEE was among 407 signatures to support the Open letter. And it worked!!!

As a result of expert pressure, the Czech government decided to desist from the intended move which we all feared would threaten the interdisciplinary model of Czech drug policy and endanger the funding of harm reduction and social services.

The support from international as well as domestic experts and professionals has been overwhelming and, apparently, has (once again) helped to preserve the Czech drug policy model.

For more details, please see a press release of the Czech government announcing that they desist from the move. The English translation is below:

THE OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT DESISTS FROM MOVING THE DRUG AGENDA UNDER THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH
4. 7. 2019 16:43

Regarding the fact that according to the Competence Act, the Office of Government should perform tasks related to the expert, organisational and technical aspects of the work done by the Government of the Czech Republic and its bodies, it has been considered that as a part of making the Office of Government more effective, the Secretariat of the Government Council for Drug Policy Coordination would be moved under the Ministry of Health with the prime minister continuing to preside the Council.

This wasn’t an isolated step. During the last year, the Governmental Council for Coordination of the Fight Against Corruption was moved under the Ministry of Justice and the agenda of social inclusion will move under the Ministry of Regional Development. In line with this, moving the drug agenda was being considered.

Due to the expert opinion that the move could diminish the importance of the drug agenda and that the discussion about moving was still undergoing, the Office of Government has decided to desist from this step. Secretariat of the Government Council for Drug Policy Coordination, currently lead by the National Drug Coordinator, will stay under the Office of Government.

Join an open letter to the Czech Prime Minister to preserve its drug policy

Our colleagues from the Czech Republic informed the international community that the Prime Minister is intending to move the Secretariat of the Council for Drug Coordination and its monitoring centre from the Office of the Government to the Ministry of Health.

As explained in the Open letter to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic to preserve its successful drug policy model, this would have a negative effect on the interdisciplinary nature of drug policy in the Czech Republic and lead to restricted funding for social and harm reduction programmes in the future.

We have had a good communication with the Czech Secretariat and its National Monitoring Centre and learned a lot from their successful drug policy model. For this reason, DPNSEE supported the petition.

If you want to read and supported the petition follow this link>>>

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