Representatives of candidate, potential candidate and neighbouring countries of the EU and countries of Central Asia are joining members of the EMCDDA’s Reitox network (1) in Lisbon from 12–16 November for the agency’s seventh Reitox week. The purpose of this annual event is to broaden the scope of the regular Heads of national focal point (NFP) meetings, underline the usefulness of the EU drug monitoring model; add impetus to the agency’s technical cooperation with countries outside the EU and learn from each other’s experience.
The 2018 Reitox week unites some 50 nations, including: 30 NFPs (28 EU, Turkey and Norway); six countries of the Western Balkans (beneficiaries of the European Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance/IPA); eight European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries; and four partner countries of the Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP). The week encompasses three events: a coordination meeting with partner countries of the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood (12 November); an ‘extended meeting’ of the Reitox network (13 November) and the regular Heads of focal point meeting (14–16 November).
This year, the theme chosen for the extended meeting is ‘Changes in patterns of drug supply and use and their implications for monitoring’, due to its relevance for the EMCDDA’s foresight exercise (2017–20). Outlined in the EMCDDA Strategy 2025, this exercise will help the agency maintain a state-of-the-art understanding of the extent of drug use, patterns, trends and its impact on public health and identify future reporting needs.
The extended meeting includes presentations from representatives of the: EMCDDA Scientific Committee; European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC); EU Satellite Centre; UNODC, Norwegian Institute for Water Research and Pardee Center for International Futures.
Presentations during this session cover a wide range of topics including: mega trends; a model for global forecasting; global trends and changes in drug use and drug markets; web-driven data sources (open source information monitoring) and new advanced technology driven data, including wastewater and mobile technology and satellite data.
The Reitox network was set up in 1993 and is composed of 30 NFPs in the 28 EU Member States, Turkey and Norway, as well as a focal point at the European Commission. The NFPs — from which the agency draws the bulk of its data — collect and analyse national information on drugs, drawing on various sectors including health, justice and law enforcement. Reitox weeks have been held annually since 2012.