EU announces record €550 million contribution to Global Fund

The EU announced a €550 million pledge to The Global Fund during the G7 summit in Biarritz. European Council President Tusk, representing the EU at this year’s G7, made the announcement. It comes ahead of the Global Fund donors’ conference that will take place in October in Lyon, as more support is needed so that developing countries can improve their health systems, reach universal health coverage and help end the 3 epidemics by 2030.

The Global Fund seeks to raise at least €12.6 billion (US$14 billion) for the period 2020-2022. By 2023, these funds should help save an additional 16 million lives, avert 234 million infections, cut the mortality rate from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems.

Today’s pledge is made under the assumption that the EU’s new Multiannual Financial Framework for the period from 2021-2027 and the new external action instrument, which would provide the budget for today’s pledge, are adopted broadly along the lines proposed by the European Commission.

On top of the overall €1.3 billion contributions made to global initiatives such as the Global Fund, the Global Vaccination Alliance (GAVI) or the WHO’s universal health coverage partnership, the EU’s development cooperation supports with additional €1.3 billion the health sector in 17 countries (mostly in Africa) during the period 2014-2020.

In global health, the EU focuses on equitable and accessible health care, sustainability of health systems, human rights, women and girls, and private sector engagement.

For more Information about the EU and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria partnership, follow this link>>>

European Drug Report 2019

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) issued today their regular annual European Drug Report. The Report provides a comprehensive analysis of recent drug use and market trends across the European Union (EU), Norway and Turkey.

The 2019 report highlights in particular an increase in cocaine availability with seizures at a record high, amounting to 140.4 tonnes, double the quantity seized in 2016 (70.9 tonnes). Although the retail price of cocaine remained stable, its purity at street level reached its highest level in a decade in 2017.

The report notes the “Uberization” of the cocaine trade, where users and dealers use smartphones, messaging apps and satellite navigation to obtain the drug. Enterprising criminals have set up “cocaine call centres” across Europe to provide fast and flexible delivery services.

Heroin is still the most common illicit opioid on the drug market in Europe and is a major contributor to drug-related health and social costs. The quantity of heroin seized in the EU increased by over a tonne in 2017 to 5.4 tonnes, with an additional 17.4 tonnes seized by Turkey (some of which would have been destined for the EU market). Laboratories producing heroin from morphine using this precursor have been discovered in recent years in EU countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Spain and the Netherlands). Heroin purity remains high and the retail price relatively low.

Belgium has overtaken Spain as the hub of the fast-growing European drug market. Belgium is playing an enlarged role in both the distribution and production markets of cocaine, methamphetamines and other illicit drugs, such as ketamine and GBL. The report also shows that Belgium, together with the Netherlands, is one of the main production centres for MDMA.

The Report also explores the challenges associated with new synthetic opioids, the latest developments in the cannabis market and synthetic drug production in Europe. Production of synthetic drugs appears to be ‘growing, diversifying an The purity of methamphetamine and amphetamine is higher than a decade ago, with 0.7 tonnes of methamphetamine and 6.4 tonnes of amphetamine seized in the EU in 2017. d becoming more innovative’ with methamphetamine posing the “greatest challenge”.

Legal recreational cannabis markets in some countries outside the EU were leading to “innovative” new products that presented difficulties for detection and control when entering the continent. The report points to fentanyl as a problem drug in Estonia, buprenorphine in Finland and the Czech Republic and methadone in Germany and Denmark. 11 new synthetic opioids were detected in 2018, including six new fentanyl derivatives. Since 2009, there have been 34 fentanyl derivatives detected in Europe, the EU agency says.

One in five people entering drug treatment facilities for an opioid-related problem “now reports a synthetic opioid, rather than heroin, as their main problem drug; and these drugs are becoming more commonly detected in drug overdose cases”. Around 8.200 people died of an overdose in Europe in 2018, according to the Report, around 300 more than in 2017. Most of the overdoses were not due to cocaine or other drugs, but rather opioids (heroin-induced), which made up 78% of all deaths. Researchers say the number of deaths could be 20% to 30% higher due to potential underreporting by member states. The spread of HIV has decreased by 40% over the past decade.

Providing people who inject heroin, or other drugs, with greater access to prevention, testing and treatment for HBV and HCV is central to combating viral hepatitis as a public health threat in line with the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as they are the people with the highest burden of disease and at highest risk of transmission.

Mobile health applications are increasingly used in prevention, treatment and harm reduction.

To read full report in 24 languages follow this link>>>

Press releases with highlights in all EU languages are available following this link>>>

You can get the highlights of the report from the video bellow.

EU drugs agency and the Republic of Albania strengthen their cooperation

The Director of the The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Alexis Goosdeel and Albanian Deputy Minister of the Interior Besfort Lamallari and Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection Mira Rakacolli signed the document of the agreement to cooperate more actively on monitoring the drug phenomenon in future. The signing ceremony took place at the Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna, hosted by EU Ambassador Didier Lenoir, and in the presence of Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner responsible for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.

The Working Arrangement originates in a request from the Albanian Ministry of the Interior to the EMCDDA Director in 2017 and follows the seal of approval of the European Commission and EMCDDA Management Board. While the agency has signed similar agreements with other third countries, this is the first request of its kind from the Western Balkans. The new agreement provides for the exchange of expertise between the entities concerned and will contribute to developing drug data-collection and reporting capacity in the country.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship in the European Commission, emphasised that “the Agreement will strengthen the cooperation to develop the right common policies to address drug trafficking in our regions and will pave the way for similar arrangements in the Western Balkans.”

emcdda

The EMCDDA began its cooperation with Albania in 2007 in the framework of EU-funded technical assistance projects designed to prepare Western Balkan countries for accession to the EU (and for participation in the work of the EMCDDA and its Reitox network. The EMCDDA and Albania are currently working together to consolidate Albania’s capacity to monitor the drug phenomenon through the use of evidence-based tools and knowledge built and promoted within the EU. They also exchange data on new psychoactive substances as well as expertise on establishing a national early-warning system.

While no formal national drug observatory has yet been established in Albania, along the lines of a Reitox national focal point, the EMCDDA has developed close working relations with the Ministry of the Interior and with the Institute of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. This cooperation led to the financing of the first national general population survey on drugs in Albania in 2014 as well as the production of a Country Drug Report for Albania in 2017 following EMCDDA guidelines.

Albania is one of six candidate and potential candidate countries to the EU currently receiving assistance under the EMCDDA IPA 6 project, which kicked off in July 2017 and will run until June 2019.

Serbian Justice Ministry releases draft Action plan for Chapter 23

The Serbian Justice Ministry has published a draft of its revised Action plan for Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights – in the country’s pre-accession negotiations with the European Union. The draft was published on the ministry’s web site along with an invitation for comments. The deadline for comments is 8 February.

EU Justice - Support for Chapter 23".The first draft of the revised Action Plan for Chapter 23 was presented at the round table held on 6 February 2019 in Belgrade. Representatives of judicial institutions, civil society organizations and international institutions attended.

The round table was organized with the support of the European Union, which financed the project “EU Justice – Support for Chapter 23”.

The DPNSEE Executive Director participated in the round table. It was an opportunity to meet and exchange with colleagues, especially with those from the Office for Gender equality and Association of Judges and Prosecutors of Serbia.

 

Drug Policy Network South East Europe General Assembly 2018

With the support from the Central European Initiative (CEI) and funded through the European Union project, The Drug Policy Network South East Europe organised regular annual General Assembly on 10 December 2018 in The Palace of Serbia, in Belgrade, Serbia.

The participants at the Assembly were welcomed by Milan Pekić, Director of the Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. In their short opening speeches, Mr Pekić and the President of the Board of the Network Vlatko Dekov emphasized the importance of partnership in achieving the aim of effective drug policies.

The participants held voting rights from 16 out of 22 ordinary member organisations. That provided the Assembly with the right to make qualified decisions, even those related to the amendments to the Statute.

The Assembly was chaired by Anna Lyubenova, representative of the member organisation Initiative for Health Foundation from Bulgaria.

During the agenda point on membership issues, candidatures for membership from two organisations were discussed. The Assembly unanimously recognised as ordinary members Timok Youth Center from Zaječar, Serbia and Center for Human Policy from Sofia, Bulgaria. The Network now has 24 ordinary and 2 associate member organisations.

The General Assembly discussed the Operational and financial report for 2018 and elements for the Action plan and the Financial plan for 2019. The General Assembly welcomed the reports. They will be completed with the activities in December and then be adopted. The Assembly analysed the donor and funding trends and issues and concluded that, based on donor research, negotiation and exchange, no funding from EU for the Network can be expected for 2019 and some amounts can be obtained for year 2020, more project based. Funding plans and activities and possible issues that might be funded in 2019 include budget advocacy, the Network being the leader on the issue of quality of services in the region, redefining harm reduction and human rights element of the approach in work. The need for greater participation in relevant international events and DPNSEE taking role in organizing regional events were emphasized.

Nine candidates applied for elections to the DPNSEE Board. The new Board includes Anna Lyubenova from Initiative for Health Foundation, Denis Dedajić from Margina, Marios Atzemis from Positive Voice, Nebojša Đurasović from Prevent, Safet Blakaj from Labyrinth, Sanja Šišović from Cazas and Vlatko Dekov from HOPS.

The Assembly decided to keep at the current positions Vlatko Dekov as the President, and Nebojša Đurasović as Vice-President.

More information about the elections are available following this link >>>

An external consultant Jarmila Bujak Stanko facilitated the strategic workshop through which participants analysed achievement of aims and objectives of the strategic plan adopted in 2016 and indicated in which way and by which activities the priorities will be followed in the next two years.

The General Assembly ended in a positive and friendly atmosphere with an improved sense of belonging to the Network.

The LADDER project was concluded, and Diogenis was part of it!

The final conference of project LADDER was held in Strasbourg on 21 – 22 November 2017, and constituted a key opportunity to create new bonds and strengthen existing partnerships for the localisation of SDGs in the next years.

The conference marked three years of joint work within an extremely ambitious project, co-funded by the European Union and led by ALDA, gathering 27 partners and 19 associates from 19 EU and 17 non EU-countries. The unanimous commitment to continue the great work done so far in the field of development education is a great satisfaction for all of us, as well as the sign of LADDER’s sustainability.

The event, hosted by the Council of Europe and by the Region Grand Est, was opened by the welcome speech of Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA, and Alina Tatarenko, Head of the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform of the Council of Europe.

Diogenis actively participated in both the program and its final meeting. The project that was implemented in Athens and Thessaloniki by Diogenis last May, entitled “Drugs & SDGs: Development and Harm Reduction Policies”, under the auspices of the municipalities of Agios Dimitrios, Athens and Thessaloniki, accounted for the highest graduation rate during the evaluation of proposals due to its innovative approach.

The Strasbourg meeting, in addition to the project review, included work in groups, aimed at demonstrating and making proposals to local governments, on new actions to implement SDGs at the local level with the active involvement of civil society organizations.