In Brussels, we accompanied the meeting in which the European Union and Central Asia exchanged experiences for the improvement of public policies on drugs
The EU-Central Asia Drug Dialogue, an annual meeting aimed at strengthening international cooperation, exchanging views and supporting the proper development of drug policies, was held this week in Brussels, Belgium, in the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The EU-funded European Drug Demand Reduction Programme in Central Asia (CADAP 7), led by FIIAPP, has supported the participation of delegations from the 5 Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). These delegations work on drug smuggling and the development of state drug policies in the region. CADAP 7 Director Ernest Robelló highlighted the programme’s support for drug dialogues and international cooperation to address drug-related challenges “in particular those related to heroin, methamphetamine, new psychoactive substances and synthetic opioids”.
Elena Álvarez, Deputy Director General for Institutional Relations at the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs (Spanish Ministry of Health), stressed the importance of a joint approach to bilateral relations between the EU and Central Asia, both on the supply and demand side, in order to promote balanced drug policies.
During the event, the European Union provided an update on drug policy and the drug situation in the region, including the evaluation of the implementation of the EU Drug Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2025. In addition, an update on the drug policy and drug situation in Central Asian countries, including the latest developments and trends, was presented. Specialists from both regions shared new challenges focusing on the drug situation in Afghanistan: methamphetamine and heroin production, trafficking and other recent developments and trends. Drug dialogues are key to the EU Drugs Strategy 2021-2025, which strongly supports the exchange of information on strategies, targets and initiatives.
The European Union side was represented by EU Member States and representatives of EU institutions and agencies, such as the European Commission, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Europol, the European External Action Service and the General Secretariat of the Council of Europe.
In the framework of this event, the European project EU-ACT, co-led by the FIIAPP, has also held the event “Operationalising dialogue: challenges and opportunities for cooperation projects”. Recommendations in the areas of threat analysis, police and judicial training, drug demand reduction and gender mainstreaming and human rights were presented at this meeting.