European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) - (Decentralised Agencies)

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Decentralised Agencies

Decentralised agencies contribute to the implementation of EU policies. They also support cooperation between the EU and national governments by pooling technical and specialist expertise from both the EU institutions and national authorities. Decentralised agencies are set up for an indefinite period and are located across the EU.


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)



Role: To provide factual, objective, reliable and comparable information on drugs and drug addiction.

Director: Alexis Goosdeel (Belgium)(as of 1.1.2016)

Established in: 1993

Number of staff: 100

Location: Lisbon (Portugal)

Website: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

The EMCDDA provides the EU and its member states with factual, objective, reliable and comparable information at European level on drugs and drug addiction and their consequences. It aims to provide evidence to inform policymaking and guide initiatives to tackle drugs.


What it does


  • monitors the drugs problem in Europe (including emerging trends)
  • monitors solutions applied to drug-related problems
  • provides information on best practice in EU countries and encourages them to share it
  • assesses the risks of new psychoactive substances
  • runs an early warning system on new psychoactive substances
  • develops tools and instruments to help EU member states monitor and evaluate their national policies and the European Commission to monitor and evaluate EU policies.



The EMCDDA’s main decision-making body is its Management Board, which adopts its work programme and budget. It is supported by an Executive Committee and a Budget Committee.

The EMCDDA Scientific Committee advises the Board and the Director on scientific matters and works with partners to carry out risk assessments of new drugs. The EMCDDA receives the bulk of its data from the Reitox network, consisting of monitoring centres in each of the 27 EU countries, Norway, Turkey and the Commission.

More about the EMCDDA’s organisational structure


How it works

The EMCDDA works on the basis of multi-annual and annual work programmes. These result from comprehensive consultations with the EMCDDA’s statutory bodies and other key stakeholders.

It collaborates with a number of EU agencies, including:

The EMCDDA and these EU agencies produce joint publications, services and initiatives. For example, the EMCDDA works with Europol and the European Medicines Agency to operate the EU Early Warning System on New Psychoactive Substances.


Who benefits

  • policymakers, including national authorities and EU institutions’ representatives
  • scientists and researchers
  • international organisations
  • practitioners
  • the public.

To remain policy-relevant, the EMCDDA is moving from an information-centred model to a service-oriented one that provides analysis tailored to the needs of the bodies it advises.


See also






Topics (A-Z)

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