A two-year work programme on bilateral cooperation with Georgia was agreed upon today at the first advisory committee meeting of the EMCDDA4Georgia project, hosted virtually by the agency. Launched on 3 May this year, the project aims to enhance national responses to drug-related health and security threats and focuses primarily on knowledge transfer and capacity-building in the areas of drug monitoring, reporting, prevention and treatment.

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel opened today’s meeting, underlining the importance of the project and thanking all partners for their commitment. He also welcomed and acknowledged the valuable participation of His Excellency Beka Dzamashvili, Deputy Minister of Justice of Georgia and Catalin Gherman, Deputy Head of Cooperation Section, Delegation of the European Union to Georgia. Deputy Minister Dzamashvili emphasised the longstanding collaboration between the Georgian government and the EMCDDA in the field of drugs and drug addiction, while Mr Gherman underlined that the challenges can only be tackled by joint efforts of all parties involved.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, as well as the European Commission’s Directorates-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) and Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), the Georgian National Drug Observatory, the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) and representatives and experts from a variety of Georgian Ministries.

EMCDDA4GE is being implemented by the EMCDDA under the supervision of the Delegation of the EU to Georgia. The EMCDDA and Georgia have a long tradition of cooperation, illustrated, among others, by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the agency and the Georgian Ministry of Justice in 2015, which is currently being updated. The EMCDDA4GE project will build on the achievements and results of previous, and current, EMCDDA technical cooperation projects involving the country.