EMCDDA official visit to Colombia to sign Working Arrangement with Ministry of Justice and Law

This week, EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel is making an official visit to Colombia to sign the agency's Working Arrangement with the Colombian Ministry of Justice and Law. The Ministry — through its Strategic Sub-Directorate for Analysis, under the Directorate for Drug Policy and Related Activities — is responsible for directing, coordinating and managing the National Drugs Observatory.

This bilateral Working Arrangement reflects the willingness and commitment from both sides to join forces for mutual benefit. It will also support EU preparedness to face drug-related threats, an issue of particular relevance for the agency’s upcoming new mandate as it becomes the European Union Drugs Agency (EUDA) on 2 July. Cooperation will focus on the following areas:

  • Exchange on methodology of data-collection systems and on data;
  • Support for the strengthening of the Colombian National Drug Observatory (NDO);
  • Exchange of experiences on monitoring the cocaine market, prices, purity and other related information;
  • Exchange of expertise and data on new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as the establishment and strengthening of a national Early Warning System on Drugs;
  • Exchange of experiences on health and social responses to drug problems;
  • Development of a national system for registering the offer of programmes for the prevention of drug use, harm reduction and social integration;
  • Support for the improvement of communications on the drug information produced by the NDO;
  • Establish effective communication channels to guarantee the successful achievement of the cooperation objectives outlined in the Working Arrangement.

During the visit, the Director will meet representatives from the Ministry, along with Colombian authorities and other key stakeholders, to further discuss areas for strengthening dialogue and cooperation. The Working Arrangement will provide both parties with valuable new insights into current and future drug problems and will contribute to ongoing strategic goals.

Colombia is one of the countries participating in the COPOLAD III project and has actively engaged in activities organised by the EMCDDA.

During the week, the EMCDDA will also participate in a study visit on alternative development organised under COPOLAD III by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and hosted by the Ministry of Justice and Law of Colombia. The visit is designed to deepen knowledge about the implementation of sustainable alternative development programmes, with an innovative approach in relation to ethnic territories and urban contexts.

This week's Working Arrangement follows the first bilateral arrangement of this kind signed with Latin America in May 2023 with Peru, underlining the importance for the agency of strengthening cooperation with this region.