EMCDDA intensifies its cooperation with the European Neighbourhood Policy countries

This year, the EMCDDA has launched a three-year project — EU4Monitoring Drugs (EU4MD) — which will intensify its cooperation with the countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)(1)(2). The EU-funded project, running until the end of 2021, will support national and regional readiness in the ENP area to identify and respond to drug-related health and security threats.

EU4MD aims to make a difference in a number of areas, including:

  • preparedness: helping ENP beneficiary countries be better prepared to respond to existing and future drug-related threats through capacity building and strengthening partnerships;
  • threat assessment: facilitating the identification, understanding and reporting of new and emerging drug-related threats and the analysis of their implications for security and health; and
  • strategic understanding: supporting the strategic analysis of developments in the drug market and how these impact on security and health.

Networking and partnership are central to EU4MD. Through a participatory approach and ‘learning-by-doing’, the project will help develop practical and scientific knowledge in the countries concerned and boost the skills of professionals and organisations.

Project activities on the supply side of the drugs problem will include: capacity development for forensic analysis; assessment of the environmental impact of drug production; mapping of production and trafficking dynamics; and technological innovation. On the demand side, work will include: identifying trends in prevalence and patterns of drug use; supporting treatment, harm reduction and prevention; and disseminating innovative monitoring approaches.

EU4MD will help implement key objectives of the EU Drugs Strategy (2013–20) by strengthening dialogue and cooperation between the EU and third countries on drug issues. It will also improve the understanding of drug use and drug problems in order to provide a sound and comprehensive evidence base to inform policies and actions.

Over the last decade, the EMCDDA has been working with the ENP area and has already drawn up Memoranda of Understanding with Armenia, Georgia, Israel, Moldova and Ukraine.

Field visit of police officers from Mediterranean countries

In the context of EU4MD, the EMCDDA welcomes today some 30 police officers from Mediterranean countries for a field visit to its premises. This will include a presentation of the agency’s activities, with a particular focus on work in the field of markets, crime and supply reduction. The police delegation is in Lisbon this week for a ‘Euromed Police Exchange on Drug Trafficking’, hosted by the Portuguese Judiciary Police. The EU-funded Euromed Police project aims to increase citizen safety across the Euro-Mediterranean area through the strengthening of cooperation on security issues (3). The visit will lay the foundations for future cooperation and partnership in the area.