Pompidou Group

Legal basis (mandates) and mission

The Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (Pompidou Group) is an intergovernmental body formed in 1971 at the initiative of the late French President Georges Pompidou. In 1980 the Group was incorporated into the institutional framework of the Council of Europe as an Enlarged Partial Agreement. At present it comprises 39 Member States. The European Commission is also a participant in the Pompidou Group. Moreover, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) participates as an observer in the Pompidou Group's Permanent Correspondents' meetings, and the Pompidou Group is an observer at the meetings of the EMCDDA's Management Board. The core mission of the Pompidou Group is to tackle problematic drug use and illicit trafficking in drugs through support for the development of effective and evidence-based drug policies in its Member States.

The primary aims of the Pompidou Group include the following:

  • linking policy, practice, and research;
  • bridging communication on drug policies in Europe and beyond;
  • providing a forum for open debate on issues related to drugs;
  • serving as an innovative think tank;
  • facilitating knowledge exchange through training and capacity building; and
  • providing a mechanism for regular consultation between key European and international stakeholders.

The primary objective of the drugs in prisons programme is to improve health in penitentiaries with respect for human rights.

Topics of interest in the prison setting

  • Drug prevention/intervention
  • Drug treatment and rehabilitation
  • Opiate agonist treatment
  • Harm reduction
  • Alternatives to imprisonment
  • Stigma

Strategic operations

  • Facilitation of regional collaborations and expert groups
  • Project implementation based on needs assessments
  • Research on regional best practices
  • Strategic planning with Member States
  • Training and capacity building, also in non-Member States

Role in prisons

  • Disseminate best practices for opiate substitution treatment in prisons
  • Train psychologists in counselling skills
  • Implement participatory drug prevention activities for detainees
  • Raise awareness about the importance of drug treatment, harm reduction, and rehabilitation; raise awareness about stigmatization of drug users
  • Build capacity of prison administrations to implement harm reduction measures, while dispelling treatment misconceptions
  • Provide training materials in local languages
  • Prevent the spread in prisons of diseases transmitted through injecting drug use, such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS
  • Conduct research on drug treatment systems in prisons

Target groups

  • Prisoners
  • Prison administrations
  • Medical providers and psychologists
  • Policy-makers

Geographic region of focus

Prison activities concentrated in eastern Europe and the Balkan region