Today, Deputy Minister of Justice of Georgia, Tornike Cheishvili and EMCDDA Director, Alexis Goosdeel, signed a Working Arrangement between the EMCDDA and Georgia, confirming their collaboration in the field of drugs and drug addiction.

The EMCDDA and Georgia have a long tradition of cooperation, illustrated, among others, by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2015. Today’s agreement — which updates and replaces the MoU — will allow for knowledge transfer and capacity-building in the areas of drug monitoring and reporting and for the exchange of experience on health and social responses to drug problems (e.g. prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social integration).

The agreement will also help strengthen the Georgian National Drug Observatory, set up in 2020, and establish and develop a national early-warning system on new psychoactive substances (NPS).

Deputy Minister of Justice Cheishvili said: ‘Today we had a very fruitful meeting with the EMCDDA Director. We signed a Working Arrangement, which will further extend already existing, excellent cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of Georgia and the EMCDDA, will strengthen the capacity of the National Drug Observatory and will promote evidence-based drug policy in Georgia. The EMCDDA has always been a real friend and reliable partner of Georgia and I am happy that this collaboration is advancing’.

Commenting today, Alexis Goosdeel said:’ Georgia has long been a close partner of the EMCDDA and I salute all those involved in the creation of the Georgian National Drug Observatory. The Working Arrangement with Georgia is an important step towards building a stronger monitoring capacity for Georgia, and will enrich the EMCDDA’s analysis of current and emerging drug-related issues in the region that could have an impact on the EU’.

Georgia is currently participating in two EU-funded projects: the bilateral technical cooperation project EMCDDA4Georgia (EMCDDA4GE), aimed at enhancing national responses to drug-related health and security threats, and EU4Monitoring Drugs (EU4MD), which has been developed by the EMCDDA as part of its ongoing commitment to strengthening cooperation and sharing expertise with countries in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) area.

The new agreement will be translated into action via joint three-year work programmes, the first covering the period 2022–2024.