Latin America - COPOLAD - Cooperation Programme on Drugs Policies with EU

Latin America - COPOLAD - Cooperation Programme on Drugs Policies with EU

COPOLAD (Cooperation Programme on Drugs Policies) is a partnership cooperation programme between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean countries aiming at improving the coherence, balance and impact of drugs policies, through the exchange of mutual experiences, bi-regional coordination and the promotion of multisectoral, comprehensive and coordinated responses.





The EU follows and promotes a comprehensive, balanced and evidence-based approach on drugs policies, as set out and reconfirmed in the EU Drugs Strategies 2005-2012 and 2013-2020, and their respective Action Plans.

During the 1st EU-CELAC Summit (7th EU-LAC Summit) in Santiago de Chile in January 2013, the leaders adopted a political Declaration and expanded the Action Plan for bi-regional cooperation. Chapter VI of the EU-CELAC Action Plan is dedicated to drugs, the objective being to strengthen bi-regional dialogue and effectiveness of joint efforts to tackle the world drug problem. COPOLAD, launched in 2010, has been financed entirely by the EU, with a total budget of  6.5 million.

In 2014, COPOLAD has been extended (2016-2019). In the second phase, the EU contribution will amount to €10 million.


The programme aims at strengthening capacities and encouraging the different stages of the drugs policies development process in Latin American countries. It consists of four components:

  • Consolidation of the National Observatories (creation of an integrated system of collecting comparable drugs indicators on production, consumption, trafficking, associated crime, and policies, in order to reduce supply and demand).
  • Capacity-building in the reduction of demand (prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and harm reduction related to drug consumption.
  • Capacity-building in the reduction of supply (coordination in the areas of law enforcement and alternative development with existing initiatives of LAC countries, other donors and related European Commission cooperation programmes).
  • Policy support and consolidation of the EU-CELAC Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs (the EU-CELAC Mechanism of Cooperation and Coordination on Drugs is a platform for EU and LAC national drug coordination bodies, with the aim of exchanging experiences, good practices and information.

The grant contract for the implementation of COPOLAD was awarded to a consortium led by the Spanish FIIAPP (Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas). The consortium comprises partners from Europe, Latin America, associate entities from Costa Rica, Poland, Ecuador, Mexico and Romania, CICAD (Inter-American Drugs Abuse Control Commission), IDPC (International Drug Policy Consortium), EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction), PAHO (Pan American Health Organisation) and RIOD (Red Iberoamericana de ONGs que trabajan en Drogodependencias).


National Observatories on drugs in Latin American countries were created, in order to enhance the adoption of evidence-based policies with the creation of Early Warning Systems. A Directory of Health Care Services aiming at treating drug use and abuse was created, as well. The availability of such institutions is highly useful for planning of health services, or implementing accreditation protocols. The Ibero-American Library on Drugs and addictions, accessible to all partners, contains around 1 000 specialised documents.

As part of the programme, collaboration between the Latin American and EU research networks has been strengthened. Several workshops, meetings and seminars were organised. Finally, the programme supported the creation and publication of educational materials and audio-visual resources.