The new Security Union strategy would “fight” against drugs together with child abuse and arms trafficking. This is a bad approach.
European Drug Policy
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.
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
For a long time, Malta had a repressive approach to drugs, but there is an increasing understanding and acceptance of harm reduction measures now. We interviewed Karen Mamo, a researcher and harm reduction professional.
Drugreporter and INPUD presents the first episode of a 10 chapter long series documenting how people who use drugs around the world have organised and formed collectives and unions to protect and defend the health and human rights of their community. The first episode uncovers he history of the movement in the Netherlands, and how it inspired activists in Belgium and France.
The Hungarian drug market was affected by the COVID-19 crisis but it is far from being disrupted – read an English summary of an online survey conducted by Drugreporter among its Hungarian readers.
The members of Drugreporter’s video advocacy network produced a movie about the new generation of synthetic drugs that conquered Poland in 2008 – and are still popular.
In this time of crisis, harm reduction activists must go beyond their regular demands and urge governments to act quickly to prevent a public health crisis transforming into a social collapse (Greek translation).
“Road 184” is a movie about the Estonian Community of People who Use Psychotropic Substances, LUNEST, the first officially registered Estonian organization that protects the rights of drug users. Today, LUNEST unites people who speak different languages and have different citizenship, as well as those who do not have any citizenship in Estonia.
“The Rising Wave” is a movie about the organization from Lithuania “Young Wave” (“Jauna Banga” in Lithuanian), which deals with the use of psychoactive substances by young people.
The Correlation European Harm Reduction Network and the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association published a joint position on the continuity of harm reduction services during the COVID-19 crisis. (PDF: English Russian German Portuguese Spanish Hungarian Polish Czech Montenegrin)
The EU Drugs Strategy (2013-20) expires this year and there are huge gaps in its implementation. Policy documents that are not enforced damage the credibility of the EU. To avoid this, we should revise the paradigm and create a new framework for actions.