The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) hosted the closing conference of its international cooperation projects with the Western Balkans and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) region. The two-day event was held on 21 and 22 November 2022, in the margins of Lisbon Addictions 2022, Europe’s largest conference in the area of addictions.
The objective of the two projects is to familiarise the project beneficiaries with EU policies and working methods and to prepare them for consolidated and structured reporting to the EMCDDA.
Under the theme ‘Drugs beyond EU borders: emerging trends and preparedness’, the event focused on cross-border drug-related health and security threats in the Western Balkans and on drug markets and emerging drug-related challenges in the ENP region.
Over 80 participants – from 18 partners, EU institutions and other bodies – attended the meeting (in Lisbon and online) to discuss the results of this cooperation. Among others, experts took a look at the preparedness of health and security services in the regions to address the emerging threat of cocaine trafficking and use. DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević was among the speakers in the Moderated panel discussion: How prepared are the partners for emerging cocaine trafficking and use?
The meeting also provided a platform for partners to present work undertaken in the framework of the projects aimed at improving knowledge on the drug situation in the region and at scaling up responses.
In cooperation with the Portuguese national focal point (SICAD), the meeting concluded with onsite visits to: a commission for the dissuasion of drug use; a judicial police forensic laboratory; a community-based harm reduction programme; a low-threshold mobile unit for methadone distribution and a drug consumption room.
From the EMCDDA, we have received an update regarding the 2021 European Drugs Summer School (EDSS) – organised by the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) in cooperation with the EMCDDA – which will take place online from 28 June until 9 July.
The course prepares professionals and students to meet the complex policy and practice challenges in the field of drugs. Involving scientific experts from the EMCDDA, university professors and policymakers, they provide a multi-disciplinary and inclusive approach to the study of the drugs problem in Europe and beyond.
The two-week course will focus on Vulnerable groups. Sessions will include lectures on the prevention of drug-related problems; social determinants of drug use and interventions for vulnerable groups (homeless, prisoners, migrants). Virtual study visits will be organised to one of the Portuguese commissions for dissuasion as well as a local harm reduction centre. During the course, students will participate in interactive workshops to discuss their own projects and views. The course will conclude with an open debate with guest speakers, followed by an exam for those wishing to obtain credits.
Also this time, the EMCDDA-IPA7 project will provide for some limited bursaries to applicants from the Western Balkan countries
Interested candidates should register before 7 June next, directly at the ISCTE-IUL web site by using the blue ‘Register Now’ button. Successful candidates will be informed about their bursary acceptance during the week of 14-18 June 2021.
The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) launched today the European Web Survey on Drugs 2021. Targeted at people, aged 18 and over, who have used drugs, the survey aims to improve understanding of patterns of drug use in Europe and help shape future drug policies and interventions.
The voluntary, anonymous survey – one of the agency’s targeted ‘leading-edge’ monitoring methods – will run this year in 31 countries and 28 languages. As in previous years, it will be promoted nationally by the Reitox focal points and their partners, as well as through targeted social media advertisements.
In 2016, the first European Web Survey on Drugs was launched. It ran in 16 countries and more than 80 000 people participated. In 2021, this survey will run in over 30 EU and neighbouring countries!
New to this year’s round is the participation of the agency’s partners from the Western Balkans and the European Neighbourhood Policy area through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA7) and EU4Monitoring Drugs (EU4MD) projects.
The new questionnaire, which will run for six weeks, is structured in modules on: socio-demographics, drug using patterns, access to treatment, access to drugs (amounts usually bought and prices paid) and how COVID-19 has affected patterns of drug use. Its findings will contribute to the emerging knowledge base on drug-using practices in Europe and on the quantities of drugs used. This will help enhance market size estimates at national and European level and contribute to policy development more widely.
The University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) and the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) will be joining forces once again next summer to hold the ninth European drugs summer school (EDSS) on ‘Illicit drugs in Europe: demand, supply and public policies’. This two-week course will take place in the Portuguese capital from 29 June to 10 July 2020.
Professionals, academics and experts from the Western Balkan region* will have an opportunity to participate in the EDSS this year, thanks to three bursaries being offered through the EMCDDA Instrument of Pre-accession Assistance 7 project (IPA7), which kicked off in July 2019. The aim of the three-year project, running until June 2022, is to ensure that the six IPA beneficiaries (1) are able to participate effectively in the activities of the EMCDDA and the Reitox network upon EU accession.
The bursaries will cover flights and EDSS fees.
The deadline for applications is 26 February 2020 and successful candidates will be notified by 9 March 2020.