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Drugs - Research Programme on Drugs

Federal Research Programme on Drugs

BELSPO (the Public Planning Service Science Policy) organises a programme dedicated to funding research in the field of drugs since 2001. This programme finds it source in the Parliamentary working group on drugs (1996/97) that invited the Federal Government to set up an "integral and integrated drug policy". The response was provided by the government in 2001: a general policy was approved in January 2001 and a budget of 500 million BEF (about 12,5 million EUR) was approved and allocated to federal administrations in charge. BELSPO received about 1 million EUR a year to set up a research programme with the objective to fund research in support of the newly adopted Drugs strategy.

The Strategy also foresees the conclusion of a cooperation agreement between the federal level and the Regions and Communities in Belgium with a view to set up a so-called integral and integrated drug policy which could deal with health and law enforcement measures and whose scope was illegal drugs, but also alcohol, tobacco and psychoactive medication. This agreement was concluded in 2008. One of the measure of this agreement was the setup of the General Cell Drugs Policy, the organ in charge of preparing the Drug Strategy on behalf of the Interministerial Conference Drugs. One of its first tasks was to draft a Common Declaration for an integrated and integral approach on drugs, which was adopted by the Ministers in charge at all levels in 2010. Scientific evidence and scientific research was acknowledged as one of the 5 pillars of the Belgian Drugs Strategy. The Federal Research Programme Drugs fully subscribes to the Belgian Strategy and funds research on the demand and supply side, on illicit and licit drugs.

Each year, a call for proposals is launched to the Belgian scientific community on topics designed in close cooperation with the General Cell Drugs Policy.

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