New Civil society forum in EU

The Civil Society Forum, an expert group of the European Commission, held its first annual meeting this year.

The Forum represents a diverse group of 45 NGOs working across Europe in various fields, mostly in the domain of drug demand reduction.

Reflecting on the previous two years, the forum has provided advice for the EU institutions and member states on several drug-policy-related issues, including the impact of the financial crisis on services, new psychoactive substances, quality standards within demand reduction as well as preparations for the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs, which will be held in New York in April, 2016.

During the meeting several weeks ago held in Brussels, the Forum elected a new core group for the period 2015-2018. Celebrate recovery (Proslavi Oporavak) is again selected as a member of Forum for the next three years.

Meanwhile, four working groups have been established:
1) Working Group on minimum quality standards for demand reduction
2) Working Group on Civil society engagement at the national level
3) Working Group on Civil society input in the mid-term evaluation of the Drug Strategy (2013-2020) and its Action Plan (2013-16)
4) Working Group on communication with the institutions of the EU and the UN

During the meeting, Floriana Sipala, Head of the European Commission’s anti-drug department stated that “the commission remains fully committed to the full spectrum of the EU Drugs Strategy”.