Reitox Academy on communicating with national policymakers

Communicating with national policymakers’ was the focus of a Reitox Academy organised this month by the EMCDDA and the Spanish national focal point, under the auspices of Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare. The event, taking place in Madrid from 18–19 September, was inaugurated by Azucena Marti Palacios, Spanish Delegate for the National Plan on Drugs and Gonçalo Felgueiras, EMCDDA Head of unit for Reitox and external partners.

Over 20 participants from 14 countries attended the event to: explore the needs of this group; strengthen the role of the NFPs in informing policymaking; and improve their capacity to contribute to the policy debate.

Session I drew on the insights of two national policymakers: José Manuel Freire (Health spokesperson of the Spanish Socialist Parliamentary Group of the Madrid Regional Assembly) and Alexandre Quintanilha (Portuguese socialist MP and former Chair of the expert committee at the origin of the Portuguese drug policy).

Further sessions focused on: sharing best practice; needs assessment; customer journeys; personas; and tools for communication. National policymakers are one of three key customer groups outlined in the EMCDDA Strategy 2025. The results of the academy will feed into an EMCDDA customer needs project, stipulated in the strategy.