(21.07.2022) Today, the EMCDDA becomes an official partner of COPOLAD III (1), a programme promoting dialogue and bi-regional cooperation on drug policy between the European Union and Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC). Funded by the EU, the programme is led by the International Ibero-American Foundation for Public Policies and Administrations (FIIAPP), in consortium with the Italian-Latin American International Organization (IILA). Collaborating in the programme are the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) (2) and the EMCDDA.

The programme, which began in February 2021, will run until January 2025 with a total budget of EUR 15 million. The EMCDDA signed a grant agreement with IILA today for EUR 800 000. This paves the way for a range of activities supporting LAC countries through a stronger focus on data collection, evidence-based policies and research.

The agreement (which will run until October 2024), will see the EMCDDA support FIIAPP and the IILA in delivering the following programme outputs:

  • strengthened technical capacity and institutional role of the national drug observatories (NDOs);
  • improved coherence, balance, quality and evidence base of drug demand reduction policies in LAC countries;
  • effective strengthening of cooperation in drug trafficking investigative activities;
  • enhanced support for the political–technical dialogue between EU and LAC regions on drug-related issues.

When delivering the activities, the agency will apply co-production and co-ownership principles and adopt a multiple stakeholder and multi-disciplinary approach. It will also use EMCDDA toolboxes and resources for data collection and analysis. These cover: key epidemiological and market indicators; early-warning system methods; prevention platforms and tools; and health and social responses guides. Methods will be adapted to national circumstances and tools will be translated where necessary.

Activities will address the need to increase national capacity to better use information for policies and action. This will be done through targeted training activities and co-production workshops to develop tailored outputs to support practice configured to local needs. 

Initially launched in 2011, COPOLAD aims to identify common priorities and coordinate policies to tackle challenges related to the global drugs problem. The EMCDDA provided ad-hoc support to the first two phases of the project: COPOLAD I (2011–15) and COPOLAD II (2016– 2020).