In Belgium, the importance of research into public expenditure is emphasised in the federal policy document on drugs of 2001. To this end, the research "Drug policy in Figures, A study into the actors involved, public expenditure and target groups reached" (hereafter called Drugs in Figures I) was carried out between 2001 and 2003 by order of the then Belgian Federal Services for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs, now the Belgian federal science policy office, under the promotorship of Prof. dr. B. De Ruyver.
The present proposal will refine and update the methodology for measuring public expenditures as it was developed in the research Drugs in Figures I, taking into account the recent developments in the field, as well as the recommendations and bottle-necks identified in Drugs in Figures I and the studies recently carried out by (order of) the EMCDDA. The proposal pays more attention to the methodology itself and to the reporting on the methodology. Next to that, the research will perform a new measurement using the refined and updated methodology. In doing so, insight is gained into the evolutions in public expenditure concerning the approach to the drug problem in Belgium, highlighting the influence of the policy options and action points of the 2001 federal policy document on drugs.
More specific, the present research intents to trace the existence of a relation between the priorities of the Belgian drug policy and the public expenditure for these priorities. Next to that, it will also be examined if a relation exists between the prioritized target groups of the Belgian drug policy and public expenditure for these target groups