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European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction



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


It revises and repeals Regulation (EEC) No 302/93 which originally set up the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

It extends the Centre’s role to monitoring aspects such as new trends in drug use, especially poly-drug use (where illegal drugs are taken in combination with legal drugs or medication).

The regulation was amended by Regulation (EU) 2017/2101 as regards information exchange on, and an early warning system and risk assessment procedure for, new psychoactive substances* (NPSs).


The Centre:

  • supplies the EU institutions and EU countries with objective, reliable and comparable data on drugs and drug addiction;
  • offers policymakers the data they need to draw up informed drug laws and strategies;
  • provides professionals and practitioners with
    • examples of best practice
    • new areas of research on drugs and the consequences of drug addiction.

Its main objectives are to:

  • collect and analyse existing data on drugs and drug addiction in the EU and with participating non-EU countries;
  • compare data to help evaluate national and EU drugs policies;
  • disseminate data and information on 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 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and with non-EU countries;
  • share information on, support the early warning system for, and carry out risk assessments of, new psychoactive substances.

Priority areas

The Centre concentrates on:

  • monitoring 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 practice 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 main task of providing sound and comparable information on drugs, the EMCDDA has developed a tool to collect national data in a harmonised way through 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 plans which implement the EU drugs strategy;
  • help develop recommendations for appropriate national responses for organising treatment, prevention and harm reduction activities.

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

Strengthened surveillance and risk assessment procedure

Regulation (EU) 2017/2101 requires EU countries to ensure that their national focal points and Europol national units provide the centre with information they collect on NPS.

Working closely with Europol, EMCDDA collects, collates, analyses and assesses the information and sends it rapidly to the national focal points, to the Europol national units, and to the Commission. This ensures they all receive information as quickly as possible for the purposes of early warning and also allows the Centre to draw up the initial report on an NPS where there are concerns that the substance may pose health or social risks EU-wide.

Within 2 weeks of receiving an initial report, the Commission may request the Centre to assess the potential risks posed by the NPS and to prepare a risk assessment report. The Centre must submit the risk assessment report within 6 weeks of the Commission’s request. Based on the risk assessment procedure, the Commission decides whether the NPS in question should be included in the definition of ‘drug’ in accordance with the procedure under Council Framework Decision 2004/757/JHACriminal acts and the applicable penalties — drug trafficking.

Organisation and operation

Established in 1993 in Lisbon (Portugal), the centre, which is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies, comprises a Management Board, 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 centre maintains close links with the Reitox network’s national focal points and with other partner organisations. It carries out its tasks in line with its strategy which defines the main objectives of its work for a specific period. Its strategy that runs to 2025 and programme for 2018-2020 both aim to contribute to a more secure and a healthier Europe. The programme focuses on:

  • reviewing and improving the existing drug monitoring tools (complemented by the increased use of innovative approaches to identify, track and monitor new trends);
  • ongoing implementation of Regulation (EU) 2017/2101 on NPS;
  • improving the format and content of the annual European Drug Report; and
  • the release of the next editions of the EMCDDA–Europol EU Drug Markets Report (2019) and the Health and social responses to drug use: a European guide (2020).

The Centre is also scaling up its support for the European school survey project on alcohol and other drugs and over the 3-year period plans to:

  • implement a new Reitox Development Framework and a new EMCDDA International Cooperation Framework;
  • enhance its work with priority non-EU countries by implementing Commission-funded technical assistance projects for candidate and potential candidate countries (IPA 6 and IPA 7 projects) and for neighbouring countries (EU4 Monitoring Drugs project) respectively to gain a better understanding of the global dimension of the drug phenomenon.


It has applied since 16 January 2007. Regulation (EC) No 1920/2006 revised and replaced Regulation (EEC) No 302/93 (and its subsequent amendments).


For more information, see:


Psychoactive substances: a substance, in pure form or in a preparation, that is not covered by the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, or by the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances but may pose health or social risks similar to those posed by the substances covered by those Conventions. These are substances which affect the mind when ingested.


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)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1920/2006 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Council Framework Decision 2004/757/JHA of 25 October 2004 laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking (OJ L 335, 11.11.2004, pp. 8-11)

See consolidated version.

last update 11.01.2019