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Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (Pompidou Group) is an inter-governmental body formed in 1971 at the suggestion of the late French President Georges Pompidou.
Initially, this informal forum consisted of seven European countries – France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom – looking to share their experience of combating drug abuse and drug trafficking. The cooperation was subsequently extended to include new countries and at present the Pompidou Group comprises 35 member states (Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands,Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom). The Commission of the European Communities has taken part in the Group's activities since 1986, to improve coordination between the two organisations and is represented by a permanent correspondent.
In 1980 the Group was incorporated into the institutional framework of the Council of Europe as a Partial Agreement, and today it is part of DG III, the Directorate General of Social Cohesion. Shortly after joining the Council of Europe, the Group embarked on one of the key features of its work: compiling and harmonising information so that trends in drug addiction could be closely monitored.
Since 1990, technical co-operation has been extended to countries of central and eastern Europe which are not members of the Pompidou Group. Furthermore, non-European countries, like Canada and the USA, have also been invited to take part in past activities.
The Pompidou Group’s core mission is to contribute to the development of multidisciplinary, innovative, effective and evidence-based drug policies in its member states. It seeks to link Policy, Practice and Science and focuses especially on the realities of local implementation of drug programmes.
The shifting, dynamic nature of the drug phenomenon has required the Group to adapt its role in order to deal with emerging problems and changes in the drug situation. Flexibility and capacity for innovation are two key attributes that have assisted the Group in meeting this challenge.
Against an international background characterized by the presence of many European and international bodies working on drugs, the Pompidou Group provides a multidisciplinary forum at the wider European level where it is possible for policy-makers, professionals and researchers to discuss and exchange information and ideas on the whole range of drug misuse and trafficking problems. In order to carry out this mission, it adopts a multidisciplinary, integrated approach to all drug problems and employs a variety of working methods.
In addition, the Pompidou Group undertakes a bridging role both between EU and non-EU European countries and towards neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean region.
Because of its links with the Council of Europe it also ensures that policy recommendations are consistent with public policy as elaborated in other fields of Council work, such as public health, social cohesion and penal policy, with particular emphasis on ethical issues.
Further reading Edit
- ARNOULD, Michel : Finding answers to addiction : Pompidou Group. - In : Forum (Council of Europe) (June 1994), p.18
- BRULE, C. : The role of the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe in combating drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking. - In : Bull Narc, vol. 35, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1983, pp.73-77)
- HARTNOLL, R. ET AL. : A multi-city study of drug use in Europe. - In : Bull Narc, vol. 41, nos. 1-2 (1989), pp.3-27
- LUCKETT, Christopher : Le Groupe de coopération du Conseil de l'Europe en matière de lutte contre l'abus et le trafic illicite de stupéfiants (Groupe Pompidou). - In : Echanges santé-social, n° 81 (mars 1996), pp.10-11
- NAGLER, N.A. : The Council of Europe Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (the Pompidou Group). - In : Bull Narc, vol. 39, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1987), pp.31-40
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