EURAD Urges The EU Commissioner For Health To Include Funding For Drugs In Latest EU Health Programme
This month, EURAD has made an urgent appeal to the EU Commissioner for Health to include funding for drugs-related activities in the 2015 EU Health Programme.
Letter Dated: 5th February 2015
Dear Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis
I am writing to you on behalf of the EURAD, which is a network of 50 non-governmental organisations dedicated to the prevention, treatment and recovery of drug use.
I would like to draw your attention to the urgent need for establishing drug demand reduction programmes as a priority topic in the operating grants section of the draft 2015 workplan for the Commission's Health Programme (2014-2020).
We are highly concerned that whilst Thematic Priority 1.2 of the Health Programme (2014-2020) is “Drugs-related health damage, including information and prevention”, there was no reference to drug demand reduction programmes in the Annual Workplan 2014 and we are concerned that it will again not be placed in the Annual Workplan 2015.
We also note that whilst the Annual Workplan 2014 highlighted its priority as smoking, chronic diseases and HIV/AIDS with ring-fenced funding for the Secretariat of the HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum, no such priority was placed on drug demand reduction activities and neither was funding made available for the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs. Therefore we urgently request the European Commission to include funding for “prevention (environmental, universal, selective and indicated), early detection and intervention, risk and harm reduction, treatment, rehabilitation, social reintegration and recovery” in relation to drug demand reduction which form integral parts of the EU Drugs Strategy (2013-2020) into the Health Programme Annual Workplan 2015 and associated Operating/Action Grants.
Not including drug demand reduction programmes as a priority in the operational and action grants section of the next work plan for the Health Programme seriously jeopardises not only the participation of civil society in this important public health policy process but also the development of research, practical implementation and best practice exchange in the area of drugs. The non-inclusion of funding also significantly reduces the possibility for EU-level NGOs active in this area to secure funding for continuing their work in this area.
For these reasons, I would be grateful if you could reconsider this situation.
Signed: Stig-Erik Sørheim (President of EURAD) and Fay Watson (Secretary General of EURAD)