In a letter to the Prime Minister of Greece, Greek NGOs require that their involvement in shaping drug policy must be formalized. The reason for the letter is related to the expected Drugs Strategy 2013-2020 and Action Plan 2013-2016 that has to be proposed by the National Commission for Planning and Coordination.
The National Drugs Coordinator has recently stated in public meetings that the NGO’s will be asked to contribute in the process of shaping the new Drugs Strategy and Action Plan. But up to this moment there has not been any request to NGOs to submit their views. The NGOs have asked the National coordinator, in a letter, to inform them about the preparatory work of the National Commission and expressed their desire that the draft of the Strategy and Action Plan be subject of public consultation. The National Coordinator answered to the letter emphasizing that she considers civil society an important partner of dialogue with the Drugs Coordination office and is willing to develop cooperation at all levels. On the request of NGOs for public consultation and participation in the Committee for Coordination and Planning she states that «at this stage there is no provision for this in the law» and that she «will forward this request to the Inter-ministerial Commission, that is responsible for such a decision».
In their letter to the Prime Minister, who is the chair of the inter-ministerial commission, the NGO’s express their support to the proposal of the National Coordinator to forward their request to the Inter-ministerial Commission and emphasize that the omission in the law 4139/2013 on addictive substances to include NGO participation in the National Commission should be corrected. Diogenis Association, PRAKSIS, Positive Voice, Center for life, Association of people in treatment by OKANA and the Liver Patients Association “Prometheus” that sign the letter conclude: “We believe that our organizations who are service providers and deal systematically with Drug Policy should be involved in co-shaping drug policy from the outset and therefore be represented in the Planning and Coordination Committee of the National Strategic Plan. The Minister of Health who is responsible for the composition of the National Planning and Coordination Committee to Combat Drugs should include , by amendment, NGO representation in the Commission”.
Read More: Letter to National Co-ordinator (in Greek)