The expert panel in the European Parliament organized by Michał Boni MEP, Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the Polish Drug Policy Network is scheduled for the 20th of June 2017. The event is a direct continuation of the Urban Drug Policies Conference held in Warsaw in February 2016. The Warsaw Declaration – defining minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction for urban drug policies - was announced as the result of that conference. It is high time to present Warsaw Declaration and the best urban practices in drug policy to the European Parliament. The European Union is currently reviewing its own strategy in the area of drugs in parallel to the preparations for the upcoming drug policy debates on the UN level and implementation of the UNGASS outcome document. At the same time the Union has now carried out the evaluation of the Action Plan on Drugs 2013- 2016 which in turn has paved the way for the work on a new Action Plan for 2017-2020, currently underway in the Council. Europe has always been regarded as a progressive region where health and human rights in the drug policy context have been taken very seriously. While the current EU Drug Strategy seems to have all the necessary components in place– harm reduction as a priority, evidence-based policy-making, cooperation with the civil society, the way the strategy is being implemented varies from Member State to Member State. There is a need for a clear set of guidelines for implementing interventions based on the minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction, as well as coherent data collection on potential benefits of action and public expenditures based on comparable indicators across the EU. . The expert panel in the European Parliament organized by Michał Boni MEP, Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the Polish Drug Policy Network will be attended by decision-makers from the European Parliament, the Organized Crime and Drug Policy Unit of the European Commission's Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs, Council's Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG) members and Committee of Regions delegates, as well as the civil society represented by a wide range of NGOs. Our objective is to open a debate about implementing the principles of the Warsaw Declaration which would help provide minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction for municipal drug strategies. In the context of EU preparations for the 2019 UN high level review, we hope to introduce the local and urban perspective into the discussion. Participants of the event will have a chance to learn about the benefits that innovative local programs bring to public health and public safety. The meeting will also provide a great opportunity for building partnerships between decision makers and civil society representatives.
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