EDPI


What is EDPI?

The European Drug Policy Initiative (EDPI) is a project of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) in cooperation with professionals and NGOs from six European countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Serbia. We selected these target countries in order to reflect the diversity of national drug policies and geopolitical characteristics found in the European Union and its candidates. Bulgaria and Poland represent new member states with restrictive drug policies, while older member states like Portugal are considered to have a more liberal approach. National drug policies cannot be differentiated using the East/West divide that exists within the EU. For instance, Sweden is famous for its democratic welfare society but has a traditionally restrictive attitude toward mind altering substances. On the other hand, the Czech Republic, having endured decades under a totalitarian regime, now endorses a relatively liberal drug policy.

The aim of the project is to advance drug policy reform in the European Union with providing tools for advocacy in the national and international level:

- public opinion surveys
- videos on national drug policy issues (posted on video sharing sites)
- media work (improving the press coverage of national/international campaigns)
- targeting political parties
- targeting international decision making forums (e.g. UN and EU forums)

We have tremendous amounts of evidence both on the harmful unintended consequences of current drug control policies and on the effectiveness of alternative harm reduction measures. However, the ciritcal voices of professionals and NGOs are not heard by the mainstream society. EDPI aims to implement policy change with oriented campaigns targeting society through the media. It connects scholarship with PR methods, attempts to use modern communication tools to advertise new, innovative answers to drug problems, mobilize drug user communities to come out of the closet. Even though Europe is considered small in a geographical sense compared to the United States, due to cultural and language barriers it is more difficult to raise awareness on the necessity of drug policy reform.

Our donors

EDPI is supported by the Global Drug Policy Program of the Open Society Institute (OSI) and the Commonsense for Drug Policy Foundation.European Drug Policy Initiative News

EDPI news

2017. március 9.

"We Do Not Wish To Walk Indifferently Away"

Café Therapy is a restaurant in Prague, its employees are clients of drug rehabilitation services provided by the NGO SANANIM. Watch this video interview by David Pešek with Josef "Pepe" Sedivy about his mission and belief in the field of drug services.

2017. február 2.

"The Drug Consumption Room Can Create New Partnerships" - Interview With Charlotte Mévil-Blanche

The city of Paris has opened its first drug consumption room (DCR) last year, after a long political struggle. We interviewed Charlotte Mévil-Blanche, a volunteer at the Gaia-Paris DCR about their plans.  

2017. január 18.

Drug Users Activism in Macedonia

“People are afraid of the Police. If you go to protests... you are marked and whenever they see you, they might stop you, control you." This is just one of the obstacles restraining drug user activism in Macedonia. An article by Vlatko Dekov.

2017. január 16.

No-Alcohol Policy Means No Shelter For The Homeless

"The local authorities in Bucharest, Romania, don’t have any official statistics on the city’s homeless population." According to a local NGO, there were about 5,000 people in 2010. Read the story of Florian, by Vlad Odobescu, who cannot go to shelters because of his alcoholism.

2016. december 21.

“Sport Isn't For Drug Users!”…Or Is It?

Vašek is a drug user; when he was younger, he played football for many years. He had a dream - to have a football cup for drug users. Watch this video of David Pešek from the Czech SANANIM Contact Centre about the Harm Reduction Cup 2016.

2016. december 19.

I Also Have the Right to Humane Treatment

An image from the centre of Skopje: Children, barely five years old, walk around the park, holding a bag, pressing it to their faces from time to time to inhale. Healthy Options Project Skopje fights for available treatments for these kids thus for their lives.

2016. december 15.

An Anthropological Perspective: Terminological Confusion

"Instead of promoting harm reduction programs, journalists and other relevant actors use stigmatizing and discriminating terminology." Ognjen Martinović and Irena Molnar from the Serbian NGO Re Generation deconstruct the problem drug and terminological confusion.

2016. november 14.

EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs Calls For More Inclusion

The Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSF), an expert group of the European Commission with more than forty members representing leading European NGOs, held its annual plenary meeting in Brussels last week. The Forum has become an important voice, but it needs more inclusion and funding from EU institutions. 

2016. november 9.

A Distress Call From Romanian Civil Society

Governments of wealthy countries will be meeting to discuss the future budget of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Romanian civil society organisations have sent them an open letter, warning of catastrophic consequences if they fail to allocate adequate funding for HIV prevention measures, in a country which has been badly hit by the epidemic.  

2016. november 4.

A Hitchhiker's Guide to Harm Reduction in Amsterdam

Deep compassion and cool-headed pragmatism - these are the essence of harm reduction in Amsterdam. Read about the adventures of a Czech social worker, David Pešek, who spent a week-long internship at the Regenboog Groep in Amsterdam to see what daily life is like there!

2016. október 27.

Darknet: Light in the Dark of Ignorance

Interview with two psychonauts from Belgrade who are testing new psychoactive substances on themselves. Read the article of Bojan Arsenijevic! 

2016. október 21.

Warsaw Declaration – Next Step Forward, Implementation

Warsaw Declaration – the city of Warsaw is to implement a two-year program to reform city drug policy. The Polish Drug Policy Network will take further actions to encourage the EU to develop a common drug strategy for use at local level.

2016. október 13.

“You Cannot Promote Safety Through Prejudice” - Interview with Marinella Kloka On Harm Reduction in Greece

Marianella Kloka is one of the leading figures of the Greek harm reduction movement, and is currently the advocacy officer at the Praksis NGO. We interviewed her about how the government and civil society in Greece have responded to the threat of an HIV epidemic among people who use drugs. Read her inspiring thoughts, and watch our video about people, drugs and harm reduction in Greece! 

2016. október 13.

Legalisation of Medicinal Cannabis in Macedonia

In February 2016, Macedonia legalised medicinal cannabis but the law is far from ideal. Drugreporter's Macedonian partner, Healthy Options Project Skopje – HOPS – carried out an analysis of the law. Read their key remarks and recommendations presented by Vlatko Dekov.

2016. október 6.

"Drugs Are Less of a Political Priority" - Interview with Alexis Goodseel, The Director of the EMCDDA

On 1 January 2016, Alexis Goosdeel became the new Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in Lisbon, Portugal. In an interview with Drugreporter, he discusses the challenges posed by Europe’s drugs problems, and the future plans and opportunities for the agency in a changing political environment. 

2016. szeptember 5.

"Italy Has Reached a Point of No Return on Cannabis Legalisation"

Marco Perduca is a leading cannabis reform advocate in Italy and he was one of the first civil society representative who spoke up against the drug conventions at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. We interviewed him about the prospects of cannabis law reform in Italy. 

2016. szeptember 1.

Harm Reduction: Pragmatism and Radicalism

An interview with Ricardo Fuertes, a young psychologist, about his experiences at working in the harm reduction field in Barcelona and Lisbon.  

2016. augusztus 31.

Preventing avoidable deaths: what steps to take to mitigate opioid overdose? 

Today is the Inernational Overdose Awareness Day. On this occasion, please read an article about how to prevent opioid overdoses, written by our partners from APDES, Portugal! 

2016. július 21.

The Amendment of the Bulgarian Narcotic Substances and Precursors Control Act

In June 2016, an amendment to the Bulgarian Narcotic Substances and Precursors Control Act came into force. Read the notes of an eye-witness. 

 

2016. június 30.

Bulgarian Drug Policy in 2016 Through the UNGASS Perspective

The outcome document of UNGASS 2016 was probably a disappointment for the most progressive parts of the world, but for countries like Bulgaria, it contains some inspiring commitments. Read this article on Bulgarian drug policy news!

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