Report from the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs 2013

The EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs met on 24th-25th June 2013.

28th June 2013

The EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs meets at least once per year as the communication mechanism between EU institutions and civil society in relation to drug policy matters.

The first day consisted of getting to know the other NGO's as we welcomed some new organisations into the forum. Presentations were provided by Correlation Network, who presented on a hepatits project they are managing, San Patrignano on an alternative to incarceration programme they manage, Celebrate Recovery on drug use in the Balkans and EURAD on how EU networks aid implementatation of the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plans.

A new core group was voted in for the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs for the 2013-2015 period, which will consist of a Chair and a Vice-Chair of the forum plus 3 Working Group Leaders. The new board will consist of:

Chair: Raminta Stuikyte (European AIDS Treatment Group)

Vice-Chair: Fay Watson (EURAD)

Working Group Lead: Peter Sarosi (Hungarian Civil Liberties Union)

Working Group Lead: Matej Kosir (UTRIP)

Working Group Lead: Maria Phelan (Harm Reduction International)

Discussion with the Horizontal Working Group on Drugs

For the first time, Member State representatives from the EU Horizontal Working Group on Drugs (HDG) attended the Civil Society Forum (CSF). The Irish Presidency are due to finish their term of EU Presidency today so took the lead during the discussions, noting that collaboration between the CSF and HDG was a further step forward.

Lithuanian representatives then took the floor, introducing their priorities during their forthcoming presidency period. They noted that abuse of prescribed medicines and benchmarking of treatment standards would be prioritised during their term. The representative from Greek noted that they will work to build more structured communication with civil society.

Civil Society Groups then took the floor, noting that priorities for them would be safeguarding funding for drug prevention and treatment during the economic difficulties, improved communication between civil society and policy makers on drug policy and further indicators for supply reduction.

Next Steps for the Civil Society Forum

Over the coming months, the CSF will begin working on three key strands of work:

  • Implementation of the CSF recommendation on drug demand reduction towards the HDG up to 2016

  • Quality Standards on drug demand reduction

  • Civil Society contribution to the EU preparations for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs, 2016