2022 Reitox week kicks off with a focus on young people

Representatives of candidate, potential candidate and neighbouring countries of the EU are joining members of the EMCDDA’s Reitox network this week (10–13 May) for the agency’s tenth Reitox week. The purpose of this annual event is to broaden the scope of the regular Heads of national focal point (NFP) meetings, underline the usefulness of the EU drug monitoring model, add impetus to the agency’s technical cooperation with partners outside the EU and to learn from each other’s experience.

The 2022 Reitox week, will gather participants from 48 countries in Lisbon, including: 29 NFPs (EU 27, Turkey and Norway); five partners of the Western Balkans (beneficiaries of the European Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance — IPA7); 13 European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries participating under the EU4Monitoring Drugs (EU4MD) and EMCDDA4Georgia (EMCDDA4GE) projects and Switzerland.

The week encompasses three events:

10 May: IPA7 project coordination meeting — Topics on the agenda of this half-day meeting will be the state of progress of the IPA7 technical cooperation project and the important role of the IPA national correspondents, including their liaison with networks of national experts. Following a short review of the EMCDDA key indicators, Western Balkan partners will be invited to present national updates, including challenges faced with regard to drug-related data collection. Since the IPA7 project is in its last year of implementation, the EMCDDA will also outline the main features of the follow-up IPA8 project, which is scheduled to start in January 2023 for a period of four years.

11 May: Extended Reitox network meeting — This tenth meeting, involving the 29 Reitox national focal points and representatives of the agency’s key partner countries, aims to foster an exchange of ‘know-how’ and experience on practical and thematic issues. The theme of this year’s meeting is ‘Contemporary drug issues among youth — European Year of Youth’. The day will feature presentations from keynote speakers on drug use among adolescents (ESPAD, MEDSPAD), the impact of drugs on communities, new drug use trends and crime and crime prevention. The last session will focus on young people in crisis situations, the possible impact on drug use and on existing interventions. This will include presentations from partners from Ukraine, Lebanon, Estonia and Poland.

12–13 May: 66th Heads of Reitox national focal point meeting — The week will end with the regular Heads of focal point meeting and will focus on the joint EMCDDA–NFP network business. Topics featured on the agenda are: recent and future policy and institutional developments; the state of play of the Reitox development framework; national reporting and EMCDDA activities in the areas of health and security.

The Reitox network is composed of 29 NFPs in the 27 EU Member States, Turkey and Norway, as well as a focal point at the European Commission. The NFPs — from which the agency draws the bulk of its data — collect and analyse national information on drugs, drawing on various sectors, including health, justice and law enforcement.

The first annual Reitox week was held in Lisbon in 2012. This is the first face-to-face Reitox week since 2019.