(20.03.2023) EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel starts an official three-day visit to Austria today where he will meet with high-level officials including the Minister of Health, Johannes Rauch, and Minister of Justice, Dr Alma Zadić. The Director will be accompanied by EMCDDA colleagues and by Franz Pietsch, Chair of the EMCDDA Management Board and member for Austria.
Taking place in Vienna, the visit will include discussions on the drug situation in Europe and in Austria and will provide opportunities to view examples of the country’s response to the drugs problem, including harm-reduction initiatives and interventions to tackle drug-related crime.
On the agenda will be visits to the Federal Drug Coordination unit at the Ministry of Health and to the Austrian Reitox national focal point. Further meetings will take place with the Director-General of Public Security, the Director of the Criminal Intelligence Service and the Head of Office of the Drug-Related Crimes Brigade.
The EMCDDA delegation will also meet with Dr Gabriele Fischer, member of the agency’s Scientific Committee.
Among the appointments will be visits to the drug-checking organisation ‘Checkit’-Vienna and to a laboratory operated by the Austrian Criminal Intelligence Service and Drug-Related Crimes Brigade, which analyses and monitors new psychoactive substances as part of the EU Early Warning System.
Additional briefings will take place on the detection of drug use in road traffic incidents and the provision of treatment services in the Austrian penitentiary system in the prison of Stein (including a visit to the Department of substitution).