EURAD’s Stig-Erik Sørheim and Fay Watson met with the European Commission’s Anti-Drug Unit and the other members of the EU CSF on Tuesday 24th May 2016.
During the meeting, the following issues were discussed:
1) Next Plenary Meeting of the EU CSF
Due to take place in early November 2016 alongside the EU Horizontal Working Group on Drugs
2) EU summary of the UNGASS process
Members of the EU CSF have been this week replying to a questionnaire about the process and outcomes of UNGASS. This will feed into the EU Presidencies conclusions on the UNGASS process.
As part of this discussion, it was noted that the term harm reduction had not been used in the UNGASS outcome document. The representative from Harm Reduction International noted that this resulted in many Member States making a clear point about this in their national statements and that this had been a good result from their perspective.
3) New priorities for the EU in the field of drugs
Among new priorities were the development of relations between the EU and China and West Africa in the field of drugs.
4) New funding options for organisations working in the field of drugs
As co-funding is now a big issue for the new drugs action grants, the EU are starting to see many bids of consortiums of around 20 or more organisations so that co-funding is split wider between project partners. The EC highlighted that funding could be acquired through working with Mr Boni at the European Parliament to ask for a permanent body of the EU Civil Society Forum to be established. The EC also highlighted opportunities within the Europe For Citizens Programme.
5) Evaluation of the EU Drugs Action Plan
Fay met with the evaluators of the current EU Drugs Action Plan for an informal evaluation. This session lasted around 2 hours. During this time, positive aspects of the current EU Drugs Action Plan were fed back to the evaluators, such as the inclusion of more specific prevention measures and the inclusion of recovery. Fay also highlighted the need for a future EU Drugs Action Plan and Strategy.