Dianova International has been selected along with 44 other NGOs to take part in the Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSF) for the 2015-2017 period. The annual CSF meeting, which will be held in Brussels, will be attended by Dianova International´s representative Lucía Goberna.
As highlighted in the Commission’s Green Paper of 26 June 2006, civil society participation is one of the cornerstones of the European Union’s anti-drugs policy. The CSF is a platform for structured dialogue between the Commission and European civil society, which supports policy formulation and implementation through practical advice.
The forum will discuss CSF priorities for the years ahead, working groups will be organised and a meeting will be held with the EU’s Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG).
The CSF’s main areas of work for the coming years (to be addressed by the working groups) are as follows:
- Minimum quality standards for drug demand reduction
- Institutional relations with the EU and international structures
- Input to the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan on Drugs
- Civil society engagement in national drug policies
Constitution of the new forum
At the meeting, a new CSF council will be created and coordinators will be appointed for each working group. Dianova International will take part in the working groups on “Institutional relations with the EU and international structures” and “Civil society engagement in national drug policies”.
One of the areas of work will be to draw up a list of the CSF’s priorities in relation to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), to be forwarded to the European representatives responsible for defining the EU’s stance on this major event.
A Participatory Process
The process of consultation with civil society organisations and other stakeholders external to the European Commission is seen as an essential part of policy formulation, whether in terms of drugs or other issues. Civil society organisations play a major role in relaying the concerns of ordinary people, tackling social issues and seeking to ensure that these concerns are reflected in the EU’s political and social guidelines.