EURAD Presents To Council Of The European Union
On 18th April 2012, EURAD joined with the Correlation Network, Netherlands, to present the joint work of the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs to Member State Representatives across Europe at the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs.
Fay Watson, EURAD's Secretary General, spoke today at the EU Horizontal Working Party on Drugs, where she was joined by Eberhard Schartz from the Correlation Network, Netherlands, who co-presented recommendations on the next EU Drug Strategy and Action Plans, on behalf of 34 Civil Society Organisations (CSO's), who form part of the European Civil Society Forum on Drugs. Attendees at this high level meeting included representatives from health, justice, international relations and ministries of the interior.
During the meeting, a series of recommendations from the Civil Society Forum on Drugs were presented on the next EU Drugs Strategy. The recommendations ranged from improved collaboration with civil society organisations, the need for a more comprehensive and balanced approach, to specific recommendations on poverty and social inequalities, alternatives and diversion for drug use offenders, the rights of people affected by drug use and the need for swift and easy access to a range of evidence based services, such as residential and community rehabilitation, social reintegration, housing support and harm reduction services amongst others.
After the presentation, the civil society forum was thanked by the EU Danish Presidency, while representatives from Italy agreed that civil society organisations needed to be supported both structurally and financially with their work. Hungary thanked the presenters for their efforts, stating how important it is to hear from CSO's during the drug strategy drafting phase and said that they were also very grateful that within the forum, we were able to find common ground with 34 different organisations.
Fay Watson said: "I think we were successful in promoting the joint work of the forum today. The presentation was received positively and we were thanked by member states for our pramatic and useful contribution. This was the first time Civil Society Organisation's have been invited to speak at the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs, so it was an honour to be able to present our joint work there. It is encouraging that member states and EU bodies are taking steps to improve engagement with civil society organisations".
A copy of the final Civil Society Forum on Drugs report will be available soon.
Read more about what member states said about civil society engagement at the recent UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.