Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being


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View our selection of links. They feature websites presenting global, regional and national initiatives and strategies on public health and social well-being, and websites of selected organisations and institutions.


Background, composition, objectives, activities, documents and members


Harmful use of alcohol, illicit drugs, tobacco and other psychoactive substances is one of the major public health concerns within the Northern Dimension area and has severe impact on public health systems. The burden of psychoactive substance use is enormous not only for the affected individuals, but for the whole society. Every year the substance use related harm generates costs of billions of euros to health systems in the Northern Dimension area. As hazardous and harmful use of alcohol and other psychoactive substances is considered one of the most important risk factors to health, there is a need to share experiences and expertise in the field of preventing those negative impacts and to take concrete action to mitigate hazardous impact of substance abuse.

In accordance with the Declaration concerning the establishment of a NDPHS, the Partnership places great emphasis on improving the co-operation and co-ordination in the prevention of life-style related non-communicable diseases and focuses on prevention of major public health problems like use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and smoking. From 2006 until mid-2010, activities in this area were fostered by the then Expert Group on Social Inclusion, Healthy Lifestyles and Work Ability, and from mid-2010 they are being implemented by the Expert Group on Alcohol and Substance Use (ASA EG) The meeting documents of these groups can, respectively, be found here and here.

Following the adoption of the NDPHS Strategy 2020 and the Action Plan accompanying it, which define specific objectives, results and linked to them concrete activities, in October 2015, the NDPHS Committee of Senior Representatives (CSR) renewed the mandate of the Expert Group on Alcohol and Substance Abuse. New Terms of Reference for the ASA EG were adopted by the CSR, which tasked the group with the facilitatation and implementation of the Objective 4: Reduced social and health harm from alcohol, tobacco and illicit use of drugs - through strengthening and promotion of multi-sectoral approaches as specified in the NDPHS Strategy 2020. The ASA Expert Group will, together with other bodies of the NDPHS, contribute to achieving the Horizontal results defined in the Action Plan accompanying the NDPHS Strategy 2020.


The ASA EG is comprised of high-level experts who come from national ministries and agencies of Partner Countries and Organisations, the research community, NGOs and other relevant parties. The Expert Group’s work is led by the Lead Partner (Norway). The list of the members of the ASA EG is provided further down.

All eligible stakeholders are welcome to provide input to the ASA EG’s current and future activities. External experts are also invited to participate in the group’s meetings, as appropriate.

Aims and functions

In accordance with the above-mentioned Declaration concerning the establishment of a NDPHS, under the guidance of the CSR, an Expert Group may have an advisory role and/or provide professional input to the preparation and implementation of joint activities carried out within the framework of the Partnership. Also, the Declaration permits Expert Groups to “facilitate professional exchanges, increase co-ordination among Partners and Participants and monitor joint activities within their area of expertise.” Consistent with these provisions, the Expert Group has the following functions:


The Expert Group's activities follow the priorities set out in the NDPHS Strategy 2020 and the Action Plan accompanying it and are being implemented in accordance with the NDPHS Annual work plans.

Presently, the Group's activities include:


The ASA EG holds approximately 2 meetings per year. Specific information about current and past meetings, including meeting documents and minutes can be accessed on the Expert Group meetings web page.

Documents and minutes of the formerly operating SIHLWA EG and ADPY TG, which were, inter alia, covering the issues dealt with by the ASA EG, can be accessed here.


View all calendar events of relevance to the ASA EG. Learn more about other sections of our calendar. 

Progress reports

Every year the NDPHS Expert Groups prepare progress reports. These reports are prepared in accordance with the Template for monitoring and reporting of the NDPHS progress and are submitted to every autumn CSR meeting and/or PAC event (they can be download here). With reference to the NDPHS Strategy 2020 and the accompanying NDPHS Action Plan, they, inter alia, present the progress towards the agreed targets and take stock of achievements made, as well as describe further action required, obstacles encountered and, finally, the sustainability and expected long-term impact of the group’s activities.

Further information 

Visit the NDPHS Database, which provides a number of papers (publications, newsletters, etc.), thematic reports developed by the ASA EG, and projects, dealing with alcohol and substance abuse issues. It also provides a pool of organisations and experts, which have been working in this area. The Database contains four sections. By clicking the links below, you will gain direct access to activities and expertise in the field of mitigation of hazardous impact of substance abuse in the NDPHS Database, sorted by:

Please note that you can also submit your own information on mitigation of hazardous impact of substance abuse to the Database (read more).



Mr. Bernt Bull
Ministry of Health and Care Services
P.O.Box 8011 Dep
Teatergata 9
N-0030 Oslo

Co-chair, Lithuania

Ms Jelena Talackiene
Ministry of Health,
Vilnius str.33, Vilnius, Lithuania

International Technical Advisor

Dr. Zaza Tsereteli
Royal Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services
Taru mnt. 16-18
10117 Tallinn


Ms. Brigitta Õunmaa
Ministry of Social Affairs of the Republic of Estonia
Adviser at the Department of Public Health


Ms. Hanna Heikkilä
Development Manager
National Institute for Health and Welfare
Alcohol, Drugs, and Addictions unit
P.O Box 30
00271 Helsinki


Mr Thomas Karlsson
National Institute for Health and Welfare
P.O. Box 30
00271 Helsinki


Ms. Sanita Lazdina
Senior Expert, Health Promotion and Addiction Prevention Unit, Public Health Department, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Latvia
Brīvības Str. 72, Riga, LV-1011, Latvia

Ms. Elēna Zviedre
Senior Expert,
Health Promotion and Addiction Prevention Unit, Public Health Department, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Latvia
LV-1005, Riga


Ms. Kate Vulāne
Senior Public Health Analyst, Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia. Duntes 22, Riga, LV-1005, Latvia



Ms. Aurelija Čepulytė
State Mental Health Centre
Parko str. 15
LT-11205 Vilnius

Ms. Grazina Belian
Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department
Šv. Stepono str. 27,Vilnius


Ms. Herdis Dugstad
Ministry of Health and Care Services, P.O. Box 8011 Dep, 0030 Oslo

Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM)

Ms. Nadja Frederiksen
Nordens välfärdscenter/Pohjoismainen hyvinvointikeskus
Nordic Welfare Centre
Topeliusgatan 20, FI-00250 Helsingfors


Mr. Janusz Sierosławski
The Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology
Sobieskiego 9 Str.
02-957 Warsaw


Cooperation suspended until
further notice.


Ms. Eleonor Saftsen
The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Unit for Alcohol Prevention
P.O Address: SE-171 82 Solna, Sweden
Visiting address: Nobels väg 18, Solna


Mr Richard Henriksson
The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Unit for Health-promoting Lifestyles
P.O Address: SE-171 82 Solna, Sweden
Visiting address: Nobels väg 18, Solna

World Health Organization

Dr. Carina Ferreira-Borges
WHO European Office for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, Moscow, Russian Federation




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