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!

Read more: Mayor's Conference In Varna

ECAD’s 18th Mayor’s Conference in Varna, Bulgaria, was a great success with some very interesting speakers and good social events. Annual Mayor’s Conference is an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues and others, 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. It seemed that many participants took hold on these opportunities during the Conference.

ECAD warmly thanks all appreciated speakers, interested participants and the hosts in Varna. Without the organizers good sense of structure and assistance, the Conference would not have been as great as it was!

18th ECAD Mayors´ Conference, May 12-14, 2011
Venue: Hotel Iberostar Obzor Beach and Izgrev, Golden Sands
Minutes of ECAD Plenary Session, May 12, 2011, (PDF)
Minutes of ECAD Advisory Board meeting in Varna, May 11, 2011 (PDF)
Minutes of ECAD Advisory Board meeting in Riccione, October 14, 2011 (PDF)

Conference materials:

  • Kiril Yordanov, Mayor of Varna – Welcome address 
  • Jim Corr, Councillor, Chairman of ECAD
  • Yuri P. Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,UNODC, Director-General UNOV (UN Office in Vienna) – Video message 
  • Roland Simon, Head of Unit for Interventions, best practices and scientific partners, EuropeanMonitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction/EMCDDA
  • Hristo Bozov, Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs, Varna – ”Municipal Drug Policy”
  • Alfgeir Kristjansson, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Teachers College, Columbia University -”Youth in Europe: not a campaign but a quiet revolution”
  • Manuel Pinto Coelho, President, APLD, Association Drug Free Portugal – ” A new paradigmto treat the drug dependent”
  • Ingeborg Rossow, Professor, PhD, National Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research, Norway– ”Drug policy and the public good”
  • Ingvar Nilsson, Economist and Researcher, Institute for Socio-Ecological Economies, Sweden– ”Drug rehabilitation: a public cost or a a social investment with high profitability – theSwedish exprerinece”
  • Atanas Peev, Inspector, Drugs Department, Chief Directorate Combat with Organized Crime,Ministry of Interior, Bulgaria – ”The Balkan route of drug trafficking”
  • Svetlana Koeva, Director, Varna Drug Prevention Directorate, Bulgaria – ”Examples of goodpractices at municipal level programmes”


  • Ann-Cathrine Hjerdt, Mayor of Linköping, Sweden
  • Mario Calleja, Mayor of Marsaskala, Malta
  • Andreas Petrou, Mayor of Aglantzia, Cyprus
  • Odd Kristian Reme, Deputy Mayor, Stavanger, Norway


  • Eric Carlin, Birkbeck College, London, International Mentor Foundation and Wired-In, UK –”Building resilience: Prevention and Recovery”
  • Fabio Bernabei, Journalist, Rome, Italy – ”Italian drug policy: who is really in charge?”
  • Father Mikhail Manev, Varna Orthodox Centre for Spiritual Care of drug addicts, Bulgaria
  • Conclusions: Jim Corr, Chairman, ECAD

ECAD AWARD 2011 was issued to the City of Kristiansand, Norway 

Read more: 18th ECAD Mayors´ Conference

ECAD has instituted a yearly award for member cities, persons or organizations that have made remarkable achievements or have exercised successful activities in the work against illicit drugs. By the institution of this award, ECAD strives to encourage member cities, persons and organizations with engagement and commitment and to stimulate increased activities in our member cities. Every member city, as well as policy makers, civil servants, experts and voluntary actors in ECAD member cities are welcome to nominate candidates for the Award. Congratulations, Kristiansand!

Download Award Motivation (PDF)

OBS: Updated!
 ECAD 18th Mayors Conference programme is now ready for your overview!  logo_Varna

Conference programme (PDF-file)


In connection to Varna Mayors Conference, ECAD biggest project Youth in Europe will hold a seminar for the members and all interested in the project.

Those of you willing to participate in the meeting of Youth in Europe, Local Plans and Initiatives, May 11, at 14.00 - 17.00, Hotel Iberostar Obzor Beach and Izgrev, Golden Sands can download the Meeting Agenda here.

During the meeting, delegates from the cities participating in Youth in Europe programme will share their experiences about local drug prevention plans in the cities.

All welcome!

Arrangements for ECAD annual Mayors Conference in Varna are in full swing!

Conference hosts in Varna and ECAD offer you a professionally engaging and challenging programme, including historical sightseeing and wine-tasting at the 19th centrury Bulgarian royal summer palace.

Read more: Varna Conference Booking Deadline ProlongedPlease that note the deadline for hotel booking and registration has been prolonged until May 7, 2011

Programme Highlights (PDF)

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

You book your accomodation and register for the conference by e-mail to :
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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.

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

Place: Hotel Iberostar Obzor Beach and Izgrev, Golden Sands. Read more about it here:
Local Prevention Plans and Initiatives (PDF)
ECAD is working on the programme for the annual Mayors`conference in Varna, Bulgraria, May 12-14, 2011
Read more: Programme Highlights for Mayors` Conference 2011and we are glad to present the Programme Highlights already! 

Programme Highlights (pdf-file

You are welcome to join Youth in Europe seminar "Local Plans and Initiatives" on May 11th. Read more about it here.

Welcome to Varna!