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Summaries of EU Legislation

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European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

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European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction


Regulation (EC) No 1920/2006 setting up the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction



It recasts the Council Regulation (EEC) No 302/93 on the establishment of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to extend its role to the new trends in drug use, especially poly-drug use (where illicit drugs are taken in combination with legal drugs or medication).


The centre is responsible for supplying the EU institutions and the EU countries with objective, reliable and comparable data on drugs and drug addiction.

The EMCDDA offers policymakers the data they need to draw up informed drug laws and strategies. It also provides professionals and practitioners with examples of best practices and new areas of research on drugs and the consequences of drug addiction.

Main tasks

The EMCDDA’s main objectives are to:

  • collect and analyse existing data on drugs and drug addiction in the EU and with collaborating non-EU countries,
  • compare data to help evaluate national and EU drugs policies,
  • disseminate data and information on the state of the drugs situation, including data on emerging trends,
  • cooperate with EU agencies such as Europol and Eurojust or specialised United Nations agencies such as the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).

Priority areas

The centre concentrates its action on:

  • monitoring the state of the drugs situation and emerging trends, in particular those involving poly-drug use,
  • monitoring the solutions applied to drug-related problems and facilitating exchanges on best practices among EU countries,
  • maintaining an early warning system and assessing the risks of new psychoactive substances*,
  • developing tools to help the European Commission and EU countries to monitor and evaluate their respective policies on drugs.

Reitox network

To achieve its core task of providing sound and comparable information on drugs, the EMCDDA has developed a specific tool to collect country data in a harmonised way by means of the Reitox network.

Reitox links national drug information systems and is the main means by which the EMCDDA exchanges data and methodological information on drugs and drug addiction in the EU.

Data collected through the Reitox network are also used to:

  • monitor the implementation of the EU drugs action plan;
  • help develop recommendations for appropriate national responses for organising treatment, prevention and harm reduction activities.

The network consists of one focal point for each participating EU country that participates in EMCDDA and a focal point for the Commission.

Organisation and functioning

The centre is based in Lisbon (Portugal). It comprises a Management Board, which is assisted by a Budget Committee, an Executive Committee and a Scientific Committee, which delivers opinions on any scientific aspect of the centre’s activities.

The EMCDDA maintains close links with the Reitox network’s national focal points and with other partner organisations.

The EMCDDA carries out its tasks in line with a 3-year strategy which defines the main objectives of its work for this specific period. Its strategy and work programme for 2016–18 seek to contribute to a more secure and a healthier Europe. They focus on 3 key action areas:

  • communicating evidence and knowledge exchange: this includes products (e.g. guides, studies, etc.) and services (such as advice) that the EMCDDA will provide over the 2016–18 period, as well as training activities for stakeholders and partners (such as academics);
  • early warning and threat assessment based on the monitoring component of the EMCDDA: this comprises the EU Early Warning System and the risk assessment of new drugs, and emerging trends and threats;
  • situation, responses and trend analysis: this seeks to provide an annual state-of-the-art overview of drug demand and supply, together with information about the various responses to prevent use, reduce harm or treat and help the recovery and social reintegration of drug users with problems.

Three cross-cutting action areas complement the key action areas:

  • information collection and management,
  • quality assurance of all activities (e.g. scientific activities) and
  • cooperation with partners at EU level and at non-EU level (international organisations and non-EU countries).

Specific annual work programmes are also provided as part of the agency’s 3-year strategy.


It entered into force on 16 January 2007.


The EMCDDA was established in 1993. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies. In 2015, it commemorated 20 years of monitoring the drugs situation in Europe.


* Psychoactive substances: substances that when ingested affect a person's mental processes.


Regulation (EC) No 1920/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (recast) (OJ L 376, 27.12.2006, pp. 1–13)

last update 03.02.2016