Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD) is an expert group of the European Commission. Its members are selected by the Commission for a three-years mandate based on their competences, knowledge and expertise. Forum has been established to provide a space for a dialogue in order to support European drug policy design and implementation through practical advice provided by the civil society to the European Commission.
This publication is a result of the efforts of the CSFD’s Working Group on the EU Action Plan on Drugs, whose work – among others – aims to promote the EU Drug Strategy and Action Plan on Drugs among the European civil society organisations and policy-makers working in the field of drug policy and improve its implementation in the EU member states. Adopted by all EU member states, the Action Plan on Drugs is a document of remarkably progressive content and notably meaningful civil society involvement in its preparation.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) play a pivotal role in the delivery of various services, also within the drug policy area. They are also important actors in policy-making processes, advocating for the rights of people who use drugs (PWUD). CSOs, having the first-hand experience in working with PWUD, can provide invaluable input in order to make new policies informed by the knowledge otherwise not available for the decisionmakers. CSOs involvement in decision-making is also in line with the contemporary principles of good governance, where processes should be participatory, transparent and accountable. Notwithstanding, the experience shows that often CSOs are left out if it comes to policy design processes. To address this issue, we present four case studies of good practices of CSOs involvement in policymaking.