EU – Western Balkans Expert Meeting on Drugs

The EU-Western Balkans Expert Meeting on Drugs was held on 25 May 2023 in Brussels, within the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU. The aim of the meeting was to exchange information on the state of drug policies in the Western Balkans, discuss current trends and contemporary challenges in this area, as well as areas that need and can be improved when it comes to cooperation between EU and Western Balkan institutions in this field.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the state authorities responsible for the creation, monitoring and implementation of drug policies in the Western Balkans, as well as representatives of EU member states, and representatives of the Council of the EU, the European Commission, the EMCDDA and EUROPOL.

The representative of the delegation of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Jože Hren, in his presentation referred to the importance of civil society organizations and civil sector initiatives in the area of drug policy creation in the Western Balkans region. In his presentation, Mr. Hren highlighted the work of DPNSEE with special reference to the Regional round table: Community-led consultati ve process on the importance of human rights and evidence-based national drug strategies in HIV response.

The Civil Society Forum on Drugs of the European Union (CSFD), an expert group at the European Commission consisting of 45 civil society organizations from all over Europe, representing a variety of fields of drug policy, and a variety of stances within those fields, prepared the document with information, views and recommendations of civil society. Several civil society organizations from the region participated in its preparation. DPNSEE, as a CSFD member organization, coordinated the collection of their contributions.