The Ministry of health of Montenegro hosted the Regional Workshop on Drug Supply and Demand
Reduction During the Summer Tourist Season, organised by the Technical Assistance Information Exchange Instrument of the European Commission. The Workshop was held in Podgorica on 7 and 8 July 2016.
The aim of the Workshop was to strengthen capacities of Police and Anti-Drugs Services in the Western Balkans and Turkey on drug supply and demand reduction during the summer tourist season, especially at large events such as music festivals. A report from the EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) on travel and drug use in Europe notes that certain travel destinations across Europe have a reputation of having a wide availability of a range of drugs; these include party locations, electronic music festivals and the nightlife scene on certain Mediterranean islands. This is very interesting now, when the festival tourism is the fastest growing tourist branch, especially in the Southeast Europe.
Participating countries included Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and theFormer Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Guest speakers came from Belgium, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. From the Montenegrin side, all for most active NGOs participated, including DPNSEE member organisations 4Life and Juventas and Cazas and Preporod. The Executive Director of DPNSEE participated for one day, sharing experiences and establishing contacts with a variety of participants.
The Workshop was an interesting platform for sharing of best practices and exchanging of knowledge with Experts from EU Member States on effective tools for reducing drug supply and demand. The thing which left a specific impression was the completely opposite positions: restrictive one of state agents (policy, anti-drug services, prosecutors) and pro-active one of the non-governmental organisations. Also, it is a pity that representatives from big festivals were not invited to share their experiences (“Sundance” being prepared at the time of the workshop).