Members of the TAIEX expert mission (TAIEX-Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument) Cecile Martell, Head of the Sector for International Cooperation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Marcello Repici Program Manager at the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, as well as the Deputy Director of the Office for Combating Drug Abuse of the Government of the Republic of Croatia Lidija Vugrinec, visited today the Office for Combating Drugs, on which occasion they met the Office Director Milan Pekić and his associates. 

Director Pekić informed the interlocutors on the activities of the Office, current systematization and number of envisaged jobs, as well as on the planned activities. In his further addressing, the Director informed the members of the Mission on complex monitoring activities and analysis of implementation of the national Strategy for the Prevention of Drug Abuse for the period 2014–2021 and accompanying Action plan for the period 2014-2017. When asked by Madam Cecile Martell about whether the mentioned Strategy set concrete goals, i.e. envisaged appropriate indicators, the Director explained that the Strategy and accompanying Action plan determines accurately each activity, who implements it and what the indicators are. Additionally, the Director said that that there was an ongoing creation of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Office and individual institutions whose engagement is required by the national Strategy and Action Plan and comprises establishment of network of contact persons in charge of cooperation with the Office for the purpose of collecting data necessary for making the state of play, i.e. comprehensive analysis of the activities taken. 

As the discussion continued, Madam Martell asked whether there was cooperation between the Office for Combating Drugs and the Ministry of Health, more precisely, between the National Focus Point and EMCDDA- European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, as well as about the way for overcoming the circumstance that the Office, by a Founding Decree, is in charge of reporting, i.e. filling in the EMCDDA questionnaire. 

Director said that cooperation with the Ministry of Health is a high level one, and that there had already been discussions regarding the respective topic and that there was a will to resolve it in a satisfactory manner, i.e. possibility of creating and signing appropriate memorandum of cooperation between the Office and the Ministry that would deal with this issue was under consideration.

Further, they discussed the efforts of the Office to implement the analysis of legal regulations in the field of combating drugs, for which purpose it applied for TAIEX mission, which would, during the third quarter of 2016, unify insights of harmonization of legal regulations of the Republic of Serbia with the EU law. 

Representatives of the expert mission were informed on the invitation of the TAIEX mission for the Office to take part in expert seminars that would be organized in Sarajevo, in the period between 25 and 26 of May 2016, and Skopje, from 20 to 21 June 2016, on the topic of cyber-crime related to drugs, i.e. Workplace Substance Abuse Prevention. 

The Office Director also presented to the expert Mission plans for the upcoming period, related to establishing cooperation with the local self-government, and which imply recommendations for implementation of Action Plans at local level. Madam Vugrinec shared the excellent example and experience of establishing cooperation between the Office for Combating Drug Abuse with local self-government in Croatia, underlying thus the importance of activating local communities in combating drugs. Additionally, the aforementioned asked if the creation of mid-term evaluation of the Action Plan had been planned, which the Director confirmed by underlying that it was planned for the third quarter of 2016, in accordance with the existing Action Plan.

The Director and his associates held a presentation of the website of the Office, showing the most important segments of its structure, operation, such as institutions it cooperates with, budget, public procurements, relevant legal regulations etc., with the aim of reaching appropriate level of public visibility.

Further cooperation between the Office and expert Mission was to be continued in the upcoming period, in order to reach envisaged standards and adequate results in the field of combating drugs.