The Annual Regional Conference in South East Europe was organized by “Diogenis Drug Policy Dialogue” in Thessaloniki from 8-9 June 2018, at Capsis Hotel.
The conference brought together representatives of NGOs, Policy makers and researchers from 9 countries, active in the drugs field in the region, in order to discuss drug policy developments and trends, in view of socio-political developments and the implementation of the recommendations of the UNGASS outcome Document 2016.
Issues that were discussed at the conference:
1. Youth culture, summer festivals, drug use and harm reduction in South East Europe: Policy implications for the competent authorities, the organizers of the festivals and harm reduction services.
2. Refugees and migrants in the countries of South East Europe and the drugs issue. An exploration of the state of affairs, the contribution of the NGOs and the National authorities.
3. The evaluation of the Political Declaration 2009-2019 in relation to the UNGASS outcome document. The South East Europe perspective.
4. Evaluation and follow up of the Harm reduction project in SEE.
5. Current topics of importance: a. The regulation of cannabis for medical purposes, b. the current regional project, “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South East Europe”, and the way forward, c. other topics.
The conference is part of the regional project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South East Europe”, supported financially by the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations.
The detailed report from the conference will be available on line within the next months.
On Wednesday, May 30th, “Diogenis Drug Policy Dialogue” organized an open dialogue meeting in Nicosia with the topic “Drug policy and harm reduction in the context of the economic crisis”.
Representatives of the Cyprus National Addictions Authority, Public Mental Health Services of Cyprus and 4 Civil Society Organizations (KENTHEA, Cyprus Institute of Psychotherapy, Direct Access and Harm Reduction Program “Stohos”, Solidarity Movement for AIDS) were present at the meeting.
The aim of the meeting was to provide updated information of the current state of drug policy and harm reduction in Cyprus through the experience of all stakeholders, and also to identify possible proposals to address current barriers and challenges.
The meeting was implemented in the framework of the “New Approaches to Harm Reduction Policies and Practices” (NAHRPP) program, in which “Diogenis” participates as a partner and is funded by the EU with co-funding from the Open Society Founties.
A related report of the meeting will be published shortly.
The Annual Regional Drug Policy Conference in South East Europe 2017 was organised in Thessaloniki from 8-10 June 2017, under the title:
“Drug policy challenges and implementation in South East Europe”
The Regional Conference aimed to: bring together NGOs, policy makers and researchers active in the field of drugs across the region of South East Europe, in order to discuss drug policy developments and trends, exchange experiences and best practices in the region, Europe and the United Nations. Invited were members of NGOs active in the field, members of the Drug Policy Network in South East Europe (DPNSEE), policy makers and academics. This regional conference was part of the regional project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South East Europe”, supported financially by the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations.
You can read or download the report (eng) here.
With the participation of the representative of the UNODC office in Vienna, Mrs Jo Dedeyne-Amann, the National Drug Coordinators of Croatia, Serbia and Romania, the scientific officer of the EKTEPN, representatives of organizations and scientists from 10 countries, the 7th Regional Conference on Drug Policy in Southeast Europe took place on 9-10 June, at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Thessaloniki.
A total of 44 participants exchanged experiences and good practices on topics such as linking drugs to Sustainable Development Goals, Women and Drugs, Initiatives to Implement the UNGASS 2016 Conclusions in the Countries of the Region, Drugs and Internet, Harm Reduction in SE Europe, users’ involvement in drug policy, changing culture in drug use including new psychoactive substances.
Photo credits: Evita Paraskevopoulou
The full report of the conference will be available by the end of July.
“Sentencing of drug offenders, the legislator’s Policy and the Practice of the Courts in South Eastern Europe.”
NGO “Diogenis – Drug Policy Dialogue” has published the book “Sentencing of Drug Offenders: The Legislator’s Policy and the Practice of the Courts in South Eastern Europe”. The publication contains the findings of the research that has been initiated by Diogenis and has been done by researches affiliated with research institutes and law faculties of Universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.
The purpose of the research was to identify and analyse the development of punitive legislative policy in the countries of South East Europe during the last 10 years and identify sanctioning practices on state and county courts. Cases from one county court were scrutinised to find out which cases were brought before the court, who were the perpetrators and how objective and subjective circumstances were evaluated by the court in sanctioning the convicted persons.
A significant finding of the research is that the judges are interpreting legislation in different ways. There is a small number of judges that impose sanctions which are harsher than the legislator is requiring. There is common practice of some of them that they see drug possession per definition as drug trafficking. The vast majority of the judges, however, is more lenient than the legislator, because they take into consideration all aspects of the situation of the offender (family, social and economic situation, previous convictions etc.) It is more and more common practice that the courts see drug offenders primarily as persons in need of treatment.
You can read the Summary Note here.
The book and the separate country reports are available in electronic form here.