The European Union and Israel will share information on drugs more systematically in future, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today in Jerusalem between the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and the Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA). The agreement was signed at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs by EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz and IADA Director-General Yair Geller.
Israel — a country of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) area — submitted a formal request for cooperation with the EMCDDA in 2012. This led to a green light from the EMCDDA Management Board in December that year for the agency to negotiate the MoU with IADA, Israel’s body responsible for drug- and alcohol-related policy.
Today’s accord — signed for an initial period of five years and sealing cooperation between the two partners — will be implemented through a joint work programme to be updated every three years. This programme will include steps to enhance the partners’ monitoring and knowledge base on the drugs situation and responses to it, particularly through harmonising key indicators in areas of both supply and demand.
Special attention will be given to the regular exchange of information on the appearance on the drug market and the use of new psychotropic substances, as well as the technologies employed in their production.
The agreement provides for an exchange of technical expertise and knowledge between the two bodies, the co-sponsoring of technical meetings and the pooling of human and financial resources to launch joint programmes. IADA will endeavour to present to the EMCDDA an annual report on the drug situation in Israel. The EMCDDA, for its part, will facilitate training as well as the exchange of experts and scientific research findings on issues of mutual interest.
Both organisations recognise that information on the drugs phenomenon is an essential and indispensable instrument for drafting and implementing drug policies and for assessing the impact of actions to reduce the problems originating from drug use and trafficking.
This cooperation takes place within the EMCDDA’s mandate for cooperation with third (non-EU) countries in consultation with its Management Board and the European Commission. The MoU, is based on the 1995 Euro–Mediterranean Agreement and the 2005 EU–Israel Action Plan, the latter establishing the general framework of EU–Israel bilateral relations.