On May 10th a meeting took place in Belgrade, Serbia between representatives of Non-Governmental organisations active in the field of drugs and National drug co-ordinators from the Countries in South East Europe. The meeting was organised by Diogenis, drug policy dialogue, in co-operation with the Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE) and the office for combating drugs of Serbia. At the meeting participated drug policy co-ordinators and NGOs from respectively 9 and 10 countries of South East Europe. The meeting was an opportunity to exchange information and experiences of good practices and to reflect on possibilities of future cooperation on the national and regional level.
After an introduction of the participants the current situation of cooperation between National Authorities and NGOs was discussed. There is a variety of co-operations structures in the countries of South East Europe. Some countries have a formal structure of co-operation with regular consultation, participation in decision making bodies concerning drug policy and financial support of activities of NGOs. Other countries are on the way to create co-operation structures and are discussing about embedding rules for cooperation between NGOs and competent authorities in national law. All countries recognise the importance of the work that NGOs do, but much more needs to be done for full cooperation. An extensive discussion took place on quality standards, requirements that NGOs must fulfil for the implementation of government-funded projects and training opportunities for capacity building. A session has been devoted to drug policy issues related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the recommendations of the UNGASS outcome document 2016. It is agreed to repeat such meetings at the regional level. A report of the meeting will be published soon.
With the participation of representatives of Civil Society, National Agencies and experts from 12 European countries, the conference titled “Services for the Treatment and Harm Reduction in Times of Economic Crisis: Developments and Challenges” was successfully held in 19-21 October, in Nicosia, funded by the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations and organized by “Diogenis – Drug Policy Dialogue”.
During the conference, participants had the opportunity to exchange information, good practices and policies on drugs in their countries as well as Europe-wide, amid economic difficulties and social challenges in Europe.
The conference was held in the context of the EU-funded project “New Approaches to Harm Reduction Policies and Practices”, involving the Transnational Institute (TNI) – Netherlands (Leader Organization), “Diogenis – Drug Policy Dialogue” (partner), “Forum Droghe” (FD) – Italy (partner) and “International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service” (ICEERS) -Spain (partner).
The results of the conference will be announced shortly on the Diogenis’ website www.diogenis.info.
Photo credits: Evita Paraskevopoulou
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.
On the occasion of International Human Right’s Day, celebrated each year on December 10th, Civil Society organizations from South East Europe, make a call for change towards human rights’ oriented drug policy.
Worldwide, we have seen large-scale abuses of international human rights in the name of the drug control system. During the last decades, repressive policies – particularly focused in law enforcement – have been the main strategy of addressing the drug phenomenon. This approach is clearly in total contradiction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Among others, the right to life, the right to health, the right to be free from discrimination, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to due process and a fair trial are violated on a regular basis against a particularly vulnerable and marginalized population, that of people who use drugs. Read more
The NGO “Diogenes – Drug Policy Dialogue” organized the presentation of the new edition “Sentencing of Drug Offenders: Legislators’ Policy and the Practice of the Courts in South Eastern Europe”. The book is edited by Mr. Thanasis Apostolou (Director of ‘Diogenes’) and published by “Sakkoulas Publications”. The event was held on September 27th, 2016 in the Europe Direct hall of the Municipality of Athens.
In the discussion panel chaired by Mrs M. Malliori, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Athens, the participants were:
– Nancy Antonopoulos, PhD Criminology AUTH
(Author of the research for Greece, published in the book)
– Evangelos Zacharias, Appeals Prosecutor, Chief Prosecutor of Piraeus
– Evangelos Kafetzopoulos, neurologist – psychiatrist, President OKANA
– Chris Vettas, director of KETHEA “PROMETHEUS”, Northern Greece
The event was supported by the Europe Direct office of the Municipality of Athens.
You can see the full program here. (Greek)