EHYT is involved in international networks with a number of other organisations. Cooperation plays a significant role in the efficient prevention and reduction of the harmful effects of substance abuse, gaming and gambling.
National and international politics and decision-making have a strong impact on substance abuse prevention. For instance, regulations concerning the European Union’s single market influence Finland’s public policies on alcohol and tobacco.
The World Health Organization WHO, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC and the EU have emphasised the global, cross-border nature of the harm caused by substance abuse. International cooperation plays a key role in preventing the use of illegal substances and reducing the harm caused by their use.
International cooperation is important also because international connections give access to information about the reduction of the harmful effects of substance abuse, gambling and gaming, related research and methods. Cooperation facilitates the exchange of experiences across borders as well as joint lobbying efforts. Networking is a good tool for keeping up to date and anticipating future changes.
Regional cooperation with the neighbouring countries
For a long time, Finland has been known for its pioneering role in public health-based policies on alcohol and tobacco. In Finland, non-governmental activity promoting health and well-being is a part of the strong civic society, in which NGOs actively participate in and influence societal decision-making.
Various harmful effects related to substances and how they are used increase the need for cooperation especially with the neighbouring countries. EHYT is in close contact with the public health bodies of the neighbouring countries and organises expert meetings and seminars on topics associated with substance-related policies.
In recent years, public policies on alcohol that support public health and well-being have been significantly strengthened in Estonia and the other Baltic countries. EHYT actively maintains close connections with Estonia’s public health bodies as the exchange of information and experiences benefits both parties. For instance, the majority of alcohol imports into Finland by travellers comes from Estonia, which has considerable political effects on both countries.
In Finland, the smuggling of snus from the neighbouring countries is a growing problem. Tackling this challenge requires cooperation with Swedish and Russian authorities and organisations.
Good global connections
EHYT has evolved into a strong national organisation whose expertise is appreciated and sought after both in Finland and abroad. Good networks with international expert organisations and strong contacts with substance and gambling researchers and other professionals build the organisation’s expertise and boost national activities. International cooperation offers a benchmark for our own development activities.
International cooperation offers EHYT the opportunity to gain extensive visibility for its views and expertise which increases global awareness about the organisation and Finland.
EHYT is a member of the following international organisations and networks:
- NordAN, Nordic Alcohol and Drug Policy Network works to highlight the importance of preventing and reducing the harm caused by alcohol and drug abuse in the Nordic and Baltic regions. EHYT’s representative belongs to the Board of the NordAN network.
- Eurocare, European Alcohol Policy Alliance brings together health NGOs from a total of 25 EU Member States. Eurocare is the EU’s most high-profile network focusing on alcohol policy issues. EHYT also has a representative in Eurocare’s Board.
- GAPA – The Global Alcohol Policy Alliance is a global network of NGOs and aims to reduce alcohol related harm. As a member of Eurocare, EHYT is involved in GAPA.
- Euronet – European Addiction Prevention Network works to develop cooperation in addiction prevention. The network has members in 17 European states and EHYT represents Finland.
- SNSUS – Stiftelsen Nordiska Sällskapet för Upplysning om Spelberoende or The Nordic Society Foundation for Information about Problem Gambling operates in the Nordic countries.
- EAPN-Fin – European Anti Poverty Network Finland is a part of the European Anti Poverty Network which fights poverty and social exclusion.
- ENSP – European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention is an non-profit organisation aiming for smoking prevention in Europe.
In addition to these networks, EHYT has been invited to serve as a consultant in several international networks. The organisation has participated in the World Health Organization WHO’s consultations and the European Commission’s hearings.
In addition, EHYT has been invited to serve as an expert in the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being, NDPHS.
EHYT actively follows research on substance abuse and gambling through international research networks, such as the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol.