EU agency in collaboration with Albania over drug monitoring

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 18, 2019 10:59

EU agency in collaboration with Albania over drug monitoring

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  • The Working Arrangement originates in a request from the Albanian Ministry of the Interior to the EMCDDA Director in 2017. The new agreement provides for the exchange of expertise between the entities concerned and will contribute to developing drug data-collection and reporting capacity in the country.

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TIRANA, March 14- The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Albania signed a Working Arrangement in Vienna on March 13, which will allow more active collaboration in monitoring the drug phenomenon in the future. The agreement was signed by EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel, and by the Albanian Deputy Minister of the Interior Besfort Lamallari and Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection Mira Rakacolli.

The signing ceremony was made in the presence of Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner responsible for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, and took place at the Delegation for the European Union to the International Organizations in Vienna hoster by EU ambassador Didier Lenoir.

The Working Arrangement originates in a request from the Albanian Ministry of the Interior to the EMCDDA Director in 2017 and follows the seal of approval of the European Commission and EMCDDA Management Board. While the agency has signed similar agreements with other third countries, this is the first request of its kind from the Western Balkans. The new agreement provides for the exchange of expertise between the entities concerned and will contribute to developing drug data-collection and reporting capacity in the country.

The EMCDDA began its cooperation with Albania in 2007 in the framework of EU-funded technical assistance projects designed to prepare Western Balkan countries for accession to the EU. The EMCDDA and Albania are currently working together to consolidate Albania’s capacity to monitor the drug phenomenon through the use of evidence-based tools and knowledge built and promoted within the EU and for participating in the work of the EMCDDA and its Reitox network. They also exchange data on new psychoactive substances as well as expertise on establishing a national early-warning system.

The Reitox network is the European information network on drugs and drug addiction created at the same time as the EMCDDA. Members of the Reitox network are designated national institutions or agencies responsible for data collection and reporting on drugs and drug addiction. These institutions are called “national focal points” or “national drug observatories.”

While no formal national drug observatory has yet been established in Albania, along the lines of a Reitox national focal point, the EMCDDA has developed close working relations with the Ministry of the Interior and with the Institute of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. This cooperation led to the financing of the first national general population survey on drugs in Albania in 2014 as well as the production of a Country Drug Report for Albania in 2017 following EMCDDA guidelines.

Albania is one of six candidate and potential candidate countries to the EU currently receiving assistance under the EMCDDA IPA 6 project (Albania, Bosnia–Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia), which kicked off in July 2017 and will run until June 2019.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 18, 2019 10:59