EU strengthens cooperation with Georgia through the EMCDDA

EMCDDA4GE Project advisory committee takes stock of results after first year

Today, the EMCDDA4GE project held the second meeting of its Project advisory committee in Tbilisi. Deputy Minister of Justice of Georgia, Tornike Cheishvili, EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel and Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section of Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, Catalin Gherman opened the (hybrid) event, congratulating all those involved in the achievements to date. Mr Gherman confirmed full EU support for the fruitful cooperation between the two parties.

During technical presentations, representatives from Alternative Georgia, Ilia State University, the Georgian National Drug Observatory (NDO) and EMCDDA4GE provided an overview of the activities accomplished during the first 12 months of the two-year project. These included the implementation of a general population survey, the translation and adaptation of the European Prevention Curriculum to the Georgian context, the application of EMCDDA standards for the collection and reporting of key indicators and the development of a training programme for drug treatment professionals. The participants also looked ahead to the activities which will be implemented in the remaining eight months of the project.

The event was attended online by representatives of the European Commission’s Directorates-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) and Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), as well as in person by representatives of the Delegation of the EU to Georgia, the NDO, the Council of Europe and experts/observers from a variety of Georgian Ministries.

Launched in May 2021, EMCDDA4GE is the first bilateral project between the EMCDDA and Georgia, running to May 2023. It aims to enhance national responses to drug-related health and security threats and to familiarise Georgian partners with the EU drug information system, its methodologies and tools. The project focuses primarily on knowledge transfer and capacity-building in the areas of drug monitoring, reporting, prevention and treatment.

Media relations workshop for members of the Georgian National Drug Observatory

On 8 and 9 September, the EMCDDA4GE project will hold a hands-on media relations workshop for members of the Georgian National Drug Observatory (NDO). Entitled ‘Media relations: how to communicate about drugs?’, the training course is designed to give NDO staff members a better understanding of how to convey sensitive drug-related information and how to enhance their skills in communicating on drugs through traditional media. The participants and trainers will also look at different approaches and technologies used by social media. The two-day event will include sessions on the Georgian media landscape; common mistakes and traps in media coverage; interacting with journalists and the media; EMCDDA principles and practice regarding communication and media relations; and how to develop key messages for press releases and interviews. The workshop will include an array of practical exercises, including interview simulations.

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