ECAD's activities from year to year culminate in the annual ECAD Mayors Conference, hosted by a distinct ECAD member city every summer. Councillors and other politicians and policymakers convene with academics and civil society organizations to participate in seminars and study visits, discussing the latest developments in drug prevention efforts throughout Europe.

28th Mayor's Conference - Invitation - May 11th and 12th, 2023 - Malta
On May 11th and 12th, the 28th ECADs Mayor's Conference will take place at Dolmen Hotel in Qwara, Malta. We warmly invite you to join us and expand your knowledge on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery. The conference will highlight best practices and research in the field. It will offer the opportunity to network with other ECAD members, representatives from local authorities, and non-governmental organisations. Registration is free for the first person attending from your organisation!

Additionally, the conference allows for a unique experience as it includes a full day of field visits on May 12th. All participants are invited to Komunita’ Santa Marija, which will be sharing information on their services, and their experiences, and will engage in discussions.

The Agenda has now been published! The deadline to register is April 22nd

Day 1

11/05/2023 | 09:00 – 17:30 | The Oracle Conference Centre - Dolmen Hotel Qawra, St. Paul's Bay
08:30hrs – 09:00hrs| Registrations
09:00hrs – 09:05hrs| Welcome Address by the President of Local Councils’ Association - Mr Mario Fava
09:05hrs – 09:15hrs| Welcome Address by ECADs Chairman of the Board from Kristiansand, Norway - Mr Viggo Lütcherath
09:15hrs – 09:20hrs| Welcome Address by the Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government - Hon. Alison Zerafa Civelli
09:20hrs – 09:40hrs| Inspirational speech – “Push yourself to do it because no one else is going to do it for you” by the President Northern Regional Council & LCA Executive Member - Mr. Clifford Galea Vella Maslennikov
09:40hrs – 10:30hrs| Panel Discussion and Presentation – Discussing the Local Context

The prevention team within Sedqa would like to present the following studies.

Study 1: The Role of a Workplace Policy in Addressing Employees’ Substance Misuse Difficulties.
Aim: To explore the probability of an employee seeking support for a substance misuse difficulty elicited by the workplace ethic fostered by management. Through this paper, we seek to determine a possible correlation between the implementation of a substance misuse policy at the workplace, and employees’ probability to seek guidance and support from their employers for a substance misuse-related difficulty.
Study 2: A Substance Misuse Policy in the Workplace: Senior Leadership Teams’ Attitudes
Aim: To explore how senior leadership teams’ (SLTs) attitudes inform the drafting of a substance misuse policy and how those attitudes inform job retention procedures in the case of an employee disclosing a substance misuse difficulty. Uncovering SLTs’ attitudes toward addiction is essential to understand how these beliefs inform workplace policy aims and actions on substance misuse.

Keynote speakers representing Sedqa Prevention team:

Mr Jareth Grima – Social Worker
Ms Sheryl Spiteri – Prevention Team
Ms Stephanie Mizzi Cascun – Prevention Professional.

10:30hrs – 11:00hrs| Coffee Break

11:00hrs – 11:45hrs| Mr Jon Sigfússon Planet Youth – Evidence-based drug prevention.
Mr Sigfússon is the international programme director for the evidence-based Planet Youth Guidance primary community-based health promotion intervention. Over the course of 20 years, Mr Sigfússon directed the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA).

11:45hrs – 12:30hrs| Mr Matej Košir - Strategies and tactics to prevent cannabis legalisation in Slovenia - The power of prevention science and advocacy.

Mr Matej Košir has been working in prevention and advocacy in the field of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs for around 25 years. Since 2006, he has been involved in more than 30 European projects in the fields of health, justice, education, youth and research as a project or work package leader.

12:00hrs – 14:00hrs| Seated Buffet Lunch

14:00hrs – 14:45hrs| Profs. Christian Thurstone, MD - The impact of legalisation in Colorado, USA – challenges faced by [local] authorities and communities.
Profs. Thurstone is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado and a child psychiatrist who specialises in addiction treatment. He published some of the first papers on the potential effects of marijuana legalisation on youth and has devoted his professional life to preventing and treating adolescent substance misuse.

14:45hrs - 15:30hrs| Ms Mulka Nisic - Recovery Cities - Creating sustainable connections and networks in cities.
Ms Mulka Nisic has been involved as a Regional Project Manager and International Relations Officer at the NGO Celebrate Recovery, and Secretary General of the Recovered Users Network-RUN.

15:30hrs - 16:00hrs| Conclusive Remarks
16:00hrs – 17:30hrs| ECAD Plenary for ECAD Members only
19:30hrs – 23:00hrs| Welcome Dinner at The Pavilion Suite, Westin Dragonara St Julian’s - Separate Registration is required in the application form.

Day 2
12/05/2023 | 09:15 – 19:00
09:15hrs – 09:30hrs| Transport leaves from Dolmen Hotel & Salini Resort to Komunita Santa Marija
09:30hrs – 09:45hrs| Registration and Welcome Coffee
09:45hrs – 10:15hrs| Introduction to the services offered by Komunita’ Santa Marija.
10:15hrs – 11:00hrs| Sharing of good practices and discussion
11:00hrs – 11:30hrs| Tour around Komunita’ Sanata Marija premises
11:30hrs – 12:00hrs| Transport to Ħagar Qim in Qrendi
12:00hrs – 13:15hrs| Ħagar Qim Visit
13:15hrs – 13:30hrs| Transport to Xgħajra
13:30hrs – 16:00hrs| Lunch (you will have time for a short stroll by the seaside)
16:00hrs – 18:00hrs| Cultural Visit in Mdina – Visiting the National Museum of National History
18:00hrs – 19:30hrs| Visiting Dingli Cliffs
19:30hrs - 15:30hrs| Transport to Salini Resort and Dolmen Hotel

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27th Mayors Conference - Gothenburg and online 2022

The 27th Mayors' Conference and 8th World Forum took place in Gothenburg and online 13-14th June 2022.

The World Forum and Mayor’s Conference is a meeting place for people from all continents who are working to prevent drug abuse, ensure evidence-based and gender-sensitive practices, increase access to treatment, and to promote recovery and reintegration services. This global forum is one of its kind where NGOs, self-help groups, treatment centres, scholars, local, regional, and national authorities, politicians and other decision-makers, and others from around the world will meet to share evidence and best practice experiences. This year’s World Forum will include three main tracks: Prevention, Treatment/Recovery, and Advocacy, which will stretch over 1,5 days followed by the WFAD Congress and ECAD Mayors plenary session. 

We are proud to announce that the Forum was inaugurated by UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly and will be joined by experts from around the world.

Read more on the website: and access the full report here
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26th Mayors Conference - Cork 2019



and 6th World Forum Against Drugs

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Conference materials

Kevin Sabet, PhD, Director, Drug Policy Institute, University of Florida, President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), USA
Speech at the WFAD /ECAD 25th Mayors Conference, Gothenburg, May 15, 2018 (Video 5min.)

Supply reduction in Peril?  A lot of the worlds`s drug supply emanates from a war-torn Columbia.
Dr. Michael Jonsson, FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency

Text to the slides (PDF)
In Columbia, a peace deal has been struck, which gives hope for a closure of insurgency and violence. (PDF)

Thomas Pietschmann, Dr, Drug Research Section, Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs
The International drug control system, global/regional and national drug patterns and trends, and supply reduction efforts at the international level (PDF)


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Photo: Götaplatsen @ Klas Eriksson

Annual Mayors` Conference and the 6th World Forum Against Drugs will take off on May 14-15 in Gothenburg this year.
This joint event will address a growing interest to the effective prevention practices, full recovery and alternatives to incarceration and to life-long dependency on drug treatment.
The conference will create a room for elaborating a practical guide to how a recovery city will look like, this will be grounded on the recent evidence-based research.
Sheffield Hallam University (UK), Ghent University (Belgium) and the City of Gothenburg have already started working on this guide in practice.

In order to find out more and to register please visit a joint webpage here.

 WFAD logo jpg  Logo Gothenburg


Kaunas logotypeRegister to

ECAD 24th Mayors` Conference materials

On June 12-13, the city of Kaunas hosted ECAD 24th Annual Mayors`s Conference 2017

Safe Cities Without Drugs. Preventing, Protecting, Policing

Key-note speakers:

David W. Spencer, Field intelligence Manager, Drug Enforcement Agency, European Region

Supply reduction and dismantling drug trafficking organizations: In what ways can local communities benefit (PDF)

Kim Nilvall, Swedish National Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence section, Organized crime

Police work in socially disadvantaged areas in Sweden: Impact of drugs on urban crime (PDF)

 Torsten Stodiek, Deputy Head, Strategic Police Matters Unit, Community Policing Advisor, Transnational Threats Department, OSCE

Preventing terrorism and countering violent extremism and radicalisation that lead to terrorism:

A community and intelligence led policing approach (PDF)

Jon Sigfusson, Director for Icelandic Centre of Social Research and Analysis, Reykjavik University, ICSRA

Youth in Europe and Planet Youth (PDF)

Laimonas Vasiliauskas, Senior Specialist, Serious and Organized Crime Department, EUROPOL

European Illicit Drug Market (PDF)

 Antonio Boscini, Health Director, San Patrignano Community, Rimini, Italy

Recovery and social reinsertion: San Patrignano Community model extended (PDF)

a wall of participants



 Conference Booking Form

@ Rokas Tenys, the Kaunas Castle

Kaunas Castle
Picture: @Rokas Tenys

Warm welcome to Kaunas, Lithuania!

It is time to book for ECAD Mayor`s Conference in Varna, May 12-14, 2011 !Read more: Book for Mayors`Conference in Varna!

Conference Invitation and General information

Conference Venue: Hotel Iberostrar Obzor Beach and Izgrev, Golden Sands
Have a look at the Conference Venue here.

You book your accomodation and register for the conference by e-mail to :This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Don`t forget to mention that your booking is for ECAD conference in all communication with the agency. Please be sure to inform on your arrival and departure. All guests will be met at the airport and transferred to and from the conference hotel on their arrival and departure.

OBS: Updated!
Youth in Europe Seminar to exchange ideas and plans related to drug prevention
Local Prevention Plans and Initiatives
All ECAD cities and other interested parties as well as those who take part in Youth in Europe project are welcome to participate in a special open seminar on May 11,  from 14.00 to 17.00. Hotel Iberostar Obzor Beach and Izgrev, Golden Sands.
Please read more about this event here.

Conference related inquiries can be sent to:
Ivan Popov, Senior Expert at Varna Municipality, + 359 52 620402 or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note the deadline for hotel booking and registration: April 20th.

Norwegian ECAD city network organize one-day event Experiences on cannabis, annual conference  "Ut av tåka 2011" on February 15, 2011. It will cover actual debates on experiences in cannabis prevention and treatment in several Norwegian cities.

Read more about this under Conferences in the menu to the left.

Conference programme can be dowloaded here.

 Welcome to Kristiansand!

ECAD is pleased to announce the date of the next Mayors Conference: 12 - 14 of May 2011.
Read more: First Announcement - Welcome to Varna in 2011!
Varna municipality will host the next Annual Mayors Conference, this time in Bulgaria. Varna is one of the most active and eldest cities in ECAD network, proud to share with you its prevention and treatment work experiences and a rich historical past.

Please read the First announcement for the conference and book the date in your calendar.

More information and detailed programme will be published early in spring 2011.




17th ECAD Mayors' Conference in Malta: September 23-25, 2010
The conference was moved from April 22-24 to September 23-25 due to the traffic chaos caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Venue: Island of Gozo, Hotel Kempinski San Lawrenz

"The issue of maintaining restrictive and humane drug policies, both nationally and internationally, must remain on top of the political agenda, especially in times when our societies face tough financial challenges. Our task – creating a future without drugs for the citizens of our cities – is one of the crucial ones for democracy and well-being of our societies."
 Jörgen Svidén, ECAD Director.

Read Press Release

First Announcement

Read Programme (PDF, easy to print out)

Read Programme in Russian (PDF)

Read Press Release ECAD AWARD 2010

17th ECAD Mayors’ Conference:

European Cities Against Drugs met on Gozo (Malta) on September 23-25, 2010 for its 17th conference aimed to give support to each other and get inspired in the everyday anti-drugs fieldwork.

10 new Maltese Local Councils joined the ECAD network during the Conference: Birzebugga, Gharb, Gzira, Kalkara, Marsarskala, Qrendi, San Giljan, San Gwann, Ta’Xbiex, Xghajra. Welcome!

Besides the fully packed Conference work programme, the participants enjoyed also cultural and social events, visiting Dwejra with its Azure window and Citadel in the main Gozitan town of Victoria.



On the photo below you see the ECAD Award 2010 winner, representative of the city of Veliky Novgorod (Russia) Olga Vasiljeva.

Thank to all ECAD members, speakers and the Maltese hosts for a rich in content, well organized, fun and memorable meeting!

All speeches and other materials are published on our site, under “Conference Papers”.

Read Press Release ECAD AWARD 2010 Here


Jörgen Svidén, ECAD Director:

ECAD’s Mayors Conference 2010 finally took place in Malta, September 23-25. The Conference was first planned to be held in April but due to the well known ash cloud it had to be postponed.

Around 150 delegates from 66 cities, 17 countries, participated in the event on the beautiful island of Gozo, that took a false start on the 22nd with a meeting both in the Advisory Board and in the core group of Youth in Europe. The first day of the Conference, with the theme “Empowering our citizens to healthier lifestyles”, started with welcoming speeches from Junior Minister for Consumer Dr. Chris Said, Shadow Minister Dr. Buontempo and ECAD’s Chairman Cllr Jim Corr. Thereafter the President of the INCB, Prof. Hamid Ghodse held an interesting and encouraging speech, amongst other issues on how it can be possible to achieve the goal of a drug-free Europe, with a focus on demand reduction and primary prevention as a key component of drug control, in particular at the local/city level. Dr. Evgeny Bryun, Director of Moscow Research and Practical Centre on Addictions, followed by giving some interesting examples of Moscow’s strategy and methods for demand reduction. The audience also got a lecture about the Maltese Police Drug Squad’s work and challenges from Assistance Police Commissioner Neil Harrison. After a refreshing lunch the day continued with Mr. David Turner, Chair of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, who gave an enthusiastic and appreciated overview of the results from the 53rd CND meeting in the UN. Prof. Charli Eriksson ended the first days Conference with a lecture on Evidence and Practice in Drug Prevention. After ECAD’s Plenary Session the Maltese hosts offered a much appreciated social program with a concert from a youth orchestra in Gozo, followed by a marvelous dinner hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Second day started with a lecture on the medical aspects of substance abuse from Dr. Anton Grech, an overview of Caritas Malta’s work by Ms. Roberta Fenech and a summary of the work of OASI, a treatment center in Gozo, by Director Manwel Cordina. Frans Koopmans, Director of Communications of De Hoop Foundation, then gave an inspired speech on an Integral Approach to Addiction. In the following Mayor’s Forum, the audience was addressed by Paula Kokkonen, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki, Anniken Hauglie, Commissioner from Oslo, Rumen Vidov, Mayor of Vidin, Sean O’Grady, Councilor of Killarney. The Mayor’s Forum is an appreciated standing part of the Conference, where leading persons from member cities give inspirational views of what is happening in their respective cities.

Mr. Rodrigo Paris, First Secretary of the Colombian Embassy to Great Britain, then showed a film and talked about Shared Responsibility, the environmental and social repercussions that global cocaine consumption brings to Colombia. There were many in the audience who believed this to be a new and most interesting aspect of drug abuse, which for sure will have impact in a number of cities around Europe in due time.

The next part of the Conference was the five parallel workshops: How to evaluate drug prevention by Prof. Charli Eriksson, Providing Hope: Experience & Practice of De Hoop Foundation by Frans Koopmans, New Russian Drug Policy Strategy Proposal: Advantages and Shortcomings by Prof. George Zazulin, Open Drug Scenes in Oslo—the Work of the Police & Co-operation with the Oslo Municipality by Deputy Chief of Police in Oslo Sveinung Spolheim and COPE: the Community Parent Education Programme—Parental and drug preventive education for young Roma parents by the Consultants at Staffanstorp Municipality Ulla-Britt Hedenby and Ingrid Bolmgren together with Project Leaders Micika Petrov & Goran Bogdanov.

The day concluded with a Signing ceremony of the ten new Maltese cities in ECAD. ECAD is proud and honored to welcome these Maltese cities in its organization and grateful to Pembroke City and Malta, for its marvelous work in order to recruit the cities. The more cities ECAD consist of, the stronger our organization will be!

The Conference ended with conclusions from Mr. Jim Corr, followed by a guided tour of the Gozo Island and a reception at the Gozitan Citadel, hosted by the Prime Minister.

ECAD thanks the Maltese hosts for their great hospitality and for making this Conference a success. We also thank all the speakers and participants for making the Conference so good. The Mayor’s Conference is an excellent opportunity to learn, meet colleagues and others from all over Europe, strengthen already existing contacts and to make new ones. It is also a perfect moment to tighten our organization and last but not least to have some fun. I do hope that you all had a good time during the Conference in all these aspects!