The Pompidou Group recently published the “Policy paper on government interaction with civil society on drug policy issues: Principles, ways and means, opportunities and challenges”
Nowadays, civil society actors are undeniably increasing its engagement and contributing to the field of drug policy. For this reason, the Council of Europe’s cooperation group to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking, Pompidou Group, has approved and published the “Policy paper on government interaction with civil society on drug policy issues: Principles, ways and means, opportunities and challenges”.
In order to ensure influence, relevance, added value and practical applicability of civil society involvement in policy planning and delivery it is necessary to define the opportunities, levels and means of participation. Therefore, the paper covers the following aspects:
- Determining the specific benefits of Civil Society Organizations participation in the different steps of the policy process should be agreed: agenda setting, drafting, decision, implementation, monitoring, review, reformulation.
- Levels of participation: provision of information, consultation, dialogue and partnership between Civil Society Organizations and public authorities.
- Ways to identify the appropriate partners.
- Means and tools that enable and support the process of participation.
The paper is intended to serve as a guide for enhancing the cooperation between government and civil society actors in the field of drug policy. Furthermore, its elaboration procedure was very participative and inclusive. The Pompidou Group arranged the 2016 training course on this particular topic and presented this paper for its amendment to 38 participants from 23 countries coming both from the governmental and civil society organizations. One representative of Dianova International attended the training course.