EFUS Activities

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THE EUROPEAN FORUM FOR URBAN SAFETY AND ITS ACTIVITES REGARDING DRUGS
Context: The stance of the EFUS
For several years the EFUS has been raising questions over the role of cities in launching security policies and the fight against social exclusion.  Since 1992 the EFUS has been carrying out its “SecuCities Drugs” projects, based on the exchange of practices to prevent drug abuse and to reduce the risks in the network’s cities.
The EFUS defends the importance of the city as a strategic location to intervene in this issue, as a city represents:
ü      The place where conflicts and differences must be managed
ü      The place where the people live
ü      The appropriate place to put experimental schemes into operation
ü      The place where public places need to be managed and people from different backgrounds live   together
ü      The place to find a balance between public health and public safety
ü      The place where the needs of the local population must be balanced with the needs of the drug users

The Forum’s strategy consists on the one hand of gathering local people together in order to unite efforts in the fight against drug abuse, and on the other hand in promoting the exchange of experiences and good practices between European cities.

The EFUS, as well as the network of cities (which is not a political network), does not take a position with regard to the debate concerning the legalisation of drugs.
The EFUS’ approach on this theme is to promote dialogue between local people affected by the problem in the hope of creating a local partnership and interdisciplinary networks.
   
The aims

The EFUS has the following objectives:
ü      To allow the transfer of knowledge
ü      To promote the creation and/or coordination of local partnerships in the cities
ü      To create networks of cities working on this theme
ü      To fuel debates
ü      To determine the role of local elected representatives
ü      To develop a close working partnership between civil society and the local elected representatives and local actors in the network of cities

The partnership

The people affected by this issue come from several different areas: the police, aid organisations (particularly NGOs), the health service, social services, the judiciary, schools, the city council etc.

The EFUS has focused its activities on creating local partnerships but has mostly worked with: local elected representatives and active local people in the cities, key people in society, associations,  researchers, the police and judiciary, people working in the leisure industry.

ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS

1992-1998

In December 1993, the EFUS met with the Secretary General of the European Commission in order to create a European Plan to fight against drugs during a seminar in Florence.  This plan led to the creation of the Drugs Observatory in Lisbon, but the European Commission also wanted to a network of cities in Europe to be formed.

During its first 5 or 6 years, the EFUS formed several networks of cities on the theme of preventing drug abuse and harm reduction.  The EFUS helped with the diffusion of knowledge and the exchange of experiences and practices through the development of several European programmes, all classified together as SecuCities-Drugs projects.

The projects carried out by the EFUS dealt with the following themes:

Ø      Local strategies to prevent the risk of HIV infection for drug users – Methodological Guide to use for local elected representatives and local communities (1992-1993)

Ø      Drugs and AIDS: the Med-Urbs Network (1992-93-94) concerning cities in North Africa.  (This dialogue was stopped following unclear management of the programme by the European Commission and criticism from the European Court of Financial Auditors).

Ø      Harm reduction (HIV) for drug users: Research into conciliation between the more and more frequently taken step of monitoring the  care and treatment of drug addicts, especially those following a methadone substitution programme, and the need to protect people’s rights (1994-95)

Ø      Drugs and Prostitution – SecuCities Europe Network (1996)

Ø      Border crossings and drugs: Study (1995-96-97)

1998

Activity: Project
Place: EFUS
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of project/ activity: Prevention of drug use in primary schools
Date/Duration: 1 year
Promoter: EFUS
Partners: Liverpool (UK), Brussels(B), Norrköping (S), Rome(I), Amsterdam (NL), Paris(F),
Publication: Yes, in French and English

The project Prevention of drug use in primary schools was the first step dealing with the issue, and aimed to answer the following questions:

ü      What people are involved in preventing drug use for 6-12 year olds ?
ü      How do schools help prevent drug use?
ü      How are parents involved?
ü      What are the messages of prevention measures?
ü      To which global strategy/ies do the existing practices belong?

Activity: Project
Place: EFUS
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of project/activity: SecuCities-Drugs.  The involvement of residents in local prevention strategies and the fight against drug addiction.         
Date /Duration: 1 year
Promoter: EFUS
Partners: The cities of the Border network: Aix-la Chapelle (D), Anvers, Gent, Mons, Liege and Brussels (B), Haarlem, Heerlen and Maastricht (NL), Lille, Roubaix, Valenciennes and Maubeuge (F).
Barcelona (E), Lisbon (P), London and Edinburgh (GB) Modena (I)
Publication: Yes

The cities of the Border network as well as 5 other cities met up in order to study strategies to involve residents in prevention measures and the fight against drug addiction.
This study took place in three stages:
ü      A preliminary seminar in Modena
ü      A series of cross-city studies
ü      A final seminar

  

1999

Activity: Project
Place: EFUS
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of project/activity: SecuCities-Drugs Network.  “The relevance of prevention messages”
Date/Duration: 1 year
Promoter: EFUS
Partners: Aix-La-Chapelle, Alcobendas, Amsterdam, Anvers, Aurillac, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Edinburgh, Gent, Haarlem, Heerlen, Liege, Lille, Lisbon, Liverpool, London, Loos, Maastricht, Maubeuge, Modena, Mons, Munich, Norrkoping, Paris, La Rochelle, Rome, Roubaix, Valenciennes, Valencia.
Publication: Yes

The EFUS and 30 European cities question prevention messages aimed at children, teenagers and vulnerable groups in order to try to determine if they are relevant to new synthetic drugs, as well as to understand who does what and how.

The project defines guidelines for prevention measures with regards to these three aims:
ü      Preventing drug use in primary schools
ü      Preventing teenagers take up drugs, especially new leisure drugs
ü      Prevention within vulnerable groups during music festivals.

2000

Activity: Project
Place: EFUS
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of project/activity: SecuCities-Drugs – Organising health and social safety and prevention measures during large musical events.
Date /Duration: 1 year
Promoter: EFUS
Partners : Anvers (Belgium), Barcelona (Spain), Berlin (Germany), Edinburgh (UK), Ibiza (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), London (UK), Mons (Belgium), La Rochelle (France), Vienna (Austria)
Publication: Organising health and social safety and prevention measures during large musical events.

The SecuCities Drugs network aimed to promote the coherence and the effectiveness of the health and social based measures of all public and private groups involved in organising large music events: the police, the judiciary, key people in society, DJs, and people who work at these events.
The main aims were to manage large events, coordinate all public and private partners, prevent accidents, and to reduce any risks (alcohol, drugs, AIDS).

The programme led to studies which allowed the following groups to meet and discuss the issue: elected representatives, the police, the judiciary, key people in society, nightclub owners and the organisers of festivals (whose aim is to see how the different people work and how partnerships work during such events).

This project organised three work seminars: in Berlin, London and Paris

Activity: Conference
Place: Porto (Portugal)
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of project/activity: Drugs Network: IV European conference
Date/Duration: February 3rd-5th
Promoter: Federaçao Europ de associa Nation de intervem Toxicode
Partners: EFUS
Publication: No

Drugs Network: IV European Conference in Porto, organised by the Federaçao Europ de associa Nation de intervem Toxicode for February 3rd-5th.
This conference brought together international specialists, as much from a medical background as from institutions, associations and politics in order to discuss the topic “Usage, damage and dependency (to drugs), moving towards trans-cultural models and practices”. 
The seminar on harm reduction in Europe, “What practices, what policies, what future?” was co-led by the EFUS.

Activity: Conference
Place: Brussels
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of project/activity: 2nd conference on “Drugs Policy”
Date/Duration: February 28th and 29th.
Promoter: The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Portuguese Presidency
Partners:
Publication:

2nd conference in Europe on « Drugs Policy » in Brussels (Belgium), organised by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Portuguese Presidency on February 28th and 29th.

Activity: Conference
Place: Jersey (UK)
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of the project/activity: 11th International Conference on Reducing Drug Related Violence
Date/Duration: April 9th-13th.
Promoter: Jersey 2000
Partners:
Publication:

2001

Activity: Project
Place: EFUS
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of project/activity: SecuCities Drugs Programme “Pilot training scheme for elected representatives and local people in small and medium towns for prevention and treatment of drug abuse.”
Date/Duration: 1 year
Promoter: EFUS
Partners:
The project’s city partners:  Comblain-au-Pont, Huy, Tournai, Waremme (Belgium); Alcobendas, San Fernando de Henares (Spain); Combs-la-Ville, Valentigney (France); Pagani, San Lazzaro di Savena (Italy).
The project’s “leader” cities: Barcelona (Spain), Liege (Belgium), Marseille (France), Turin (Italy) 
Publication: Yes

SecuCities Drugs Programme
The theory which states that towns, just like large cities, have to face drug related problems and the subsequent changes in behaviour of some of the citizens, has led the EFUS and its partners to propose the SecuCities Drugs project to the European Commission in order to “Begin creating a network of small and medium European towns to train elected representatives and key people in society on preventing and treating drug addiction”.

This theory was confirmed by the specialists and the elected representatives who took part in the seminars and who surprisingly stated that nowadays there is no difference between large cities and towns with regards to drug usage, even those in rural areas.

In order to permit these cities to share their experiences and practices, as well as to be able to achieve, with their support, a specific training scheme in, the EFUS has developed a prototype network which brings together elected representatives and experts in different fields.  During one year, this network helped cities reflect upon important issues that arise when implementing and monitoring drug prevention measures and monitoring drug users.

In order to respect the EFUS’ principle of cities helping cities, the participation in the seminars of four large ”leader” cities whose practices are especially successful has been requested.  Thanks to the involvement of all the partners and the contribution of a training expert, a training session was organised, with all participants taking part during the final seminar. This provided the necessary elements for a training model to be developed which is able to be reproduced.

Within the framework of this programme, several meetings have been organised:
ü      1st seminar in Huy (Belgium): comparing the problems in each city, a complete review of what we know (target groups, the results, changes, multi-consumption), an analysis of “our” perception of different types of drugs (legal and illegal)
ü      2nd seminar  in Alcobendas (Spain): prevention strategies, help and support for drug addicts
ü      3rd seminar in Paris (France): links between drugs and petty crimes, a methodology to working in partnership (with the judiciary, the police, key people in society etc.), involving residents in the strategies to be implemented
ü      : 4th seminar  in Pagani (Italy): local or inter-communal policies, means to implement policies, evaluation of the programmes
ü      October: Final seminar in Comblain-au-Pont (Belgium): future of the network and possible enlargement, sharing practical information on how to implement measures, the role of the leader cities

Activity: Conference
Location: Lisbon
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of project/activity: “Prevention of Drug Related Crime Meeting”,
Date/Duration: October 27th
Promoter: European Drug and Drug Abuse Observatory
Partners:
Publication:

The European Drug and Drug Abuse Observatory (EMCDDA) organised a conference entitled “Prevention of Drug Related Crime Meeting” on October 27th in Lisbon (Portugal) in which an EFUS representative took part.

Activity: Conference
Location: London
Co-Financed by: The European Commission
Name of project/activity: “Prevention of Drug Related Crime Meeting”
Date/Duration: October 27th
Promoter:  DrugScope
Partners:
Publication:

DrugScope