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Public-Private Partnerships in Preventing Drug Abuse and Trafficking



On March 14, 2003 the Center for the Study of Democracy hosted a round table on Public-Private Partnerships in Preventing Drug Abuse and Trafficking. Experts from government agencies and non-governmental organizations were invited to the discussion. HRH The Prince of Wales addressed the participants in the round table.

In his opening remarks Dr. Ognian Shentov, CSD Chairman, pointed out that CSD's experience had shown that the only effective way of addressing the issue of contraband and transnational crime was through broad Public-Private Partnerships that involve, on an equal footing, all relevant actors in government, international institutions, business community and civil society. Dr. Shentov underlined that CSD had done quite a lot in the area of coalition building over the past years - since 1998 various working groups were set up which included experts from government institutions, including the security services, alongside independent researchers and media.

Mr. Boyko Kotsev, Deputy-Minister of Interior, stressed on the need to replace the notion of control with the need to develop partnerships and illustrated the theme of partnership in three ways: cooperation between Bulgaria and the UK, drugs policy and strategy, and public-private partnerships.

Ms. Zorka Purvanova, spouse of the President of Bulgaria, pointed out some of the reasons for the increase of drugs consumption in Bulgaria - poverty, unemployment, lack of social perspective, erosion of moral values, lower prestige of the Bulgarian school, problems with the ongoing health reform. She underlined that the key to the efficient solutions was "partnership" in the sense of coordination and combined efforts of all institutions - educational, social, law-enforcement and judicial.

In his speech, HRH The Prince of Wales commended the work of Bulgarian Customs and the National Service for Combating Organized Crime for their dedication and efforts in stopping drugs flow through Europe and congratulated the Bulgarian Government for making this a priority area of policy. HRH pointed out that Bulgaria and the UK had to collaborate even more than now against international organized crime to reduce the availability of drugs as well as to combat the growing perception that drug use is acceptable and risk-free.

During the second session experts from the Working Group on the Abuse and Trafficking of Drugs at the Center for the Study of Democracy presented the results of the first national representative survey on drugs consumption in Bulgaria. Experts from the Sofia Directorate of Internal Affairs, the National Service for Combating Organized Crime, Customs Agency, National Council on Narcotics, Bulgarian Youth Red Cross and Free and Democratic Bulgaria Foundation took part in the discussion.

Agenda and speeches

First national representative survey on drugs consumption in Bulgaria

Media coverage

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