Drugs in the Czech Republic and Germany: A Common Problem, a Common Solution

April 11, 2014, Prague

A discussion titled “Drugs in the Czech Republic and Germany: A Common Problem, a Common Solution,” was held on Friday, April 11, 2014 at the Louvre Café in Prague. 
 
The debate brought together leading Czech and German politicians, experts in the NGO and state sectors, as well as journalists interested in the topic of drugs in the Czech-German border areas. Among the issues discussed was the sharp increase in the transaction and consumption of crystal meth among Czech and German producers and consumers and the possible strategies to tackle this issue.
 
The debate was opened by Christian Schmidt, German Federal Minister of Agriculture and Co-Chairman of the Czech-German Discussion Forum, Luděk Sefzig, former Czech Senator and Co-Chairman of the Czech-German Discussion Forum, and Tomáš Jelínek, Director of the Czech-German Fund for the Future. They acknowledged the importance of this event as an opportunity for dialogue and an impulse for joint action of the political representation and civil society.   
 
Opening remarks were followed by contributions of Marlene Mortler, German Commissioner on Drug-related Issues, and her Czech counterpart, Jindřich Vobořil. They agreed that an effective anti-drug policy is primarily based on prevention and treatment of the potentially susceptible populations, among which children and youth represent the most vulnerable group.
 
Bringing in a criminalist approach, Police Inspector of Bavarian Police Thomas Hampel praised collaboration with his Czech colleagues in dealing with drug-related crime through joint police interventions. Markéta Černá, head of the Czech NGO Kotec, which works with drug users in Western Bohemia, expounded on the changes the opening of the drug scene brought about in Czech towns, stressing the importance to combat the organized crime now present in drug trafficking.  
 
The discussion was thematically linked to the Czech-German Fund for the Future’s topic of the year, cross-border drug prevention. It was organized by the Forum 2000 Foundation and the Czech-German Discussion Forum, whose activities are financed by the fund, in a framework of long-term cooperation on projects that support Czech-German relations. As a Czech partner of the Czech-German Discussion Forum, the Forum 2000 Foundation helps create and organize projects that develop an open dialogue between Czechs and Germans, fostering mutual cooperation and understanding.
 
The event was open upon invitation.


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