Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Official Journal Reference

L 36 of 1993-02-12

Legislative Reference

CEE 302/93 of 1993-02-08
To provide the Community and the member states with objective, reliable and comparable information at European level concerning drugs and drug addiction and their consequences.


The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the central reference point for drug information in the European Union (EU). Set up in 1993 and based in Lisbon, its role is to provide the EU and its member states with objective, reliable and comparable information on drugs and drug addiction.

Evidence-based information on drugs is one of the most vital tools at our disposal today to address this global challenge. By offering information of this kind, the EMCDDA helps policy-makers, researchers and specialists in the field understand the nature of the problem and formulate appropriate responses.

At the heart of the Centre’s work are efforts to improve the comparability of drug information across Europe and to devise the methods and tools required to achieve this. As a result of efforts to date, countries can now view how they fit into the wider European picture and examine common problems and goals.

The information collected, analysed and disseminated by the Centre focuses on the following:
- Demand and reduction of the demand for drugs;
- National and Community strategies and policies (with special emphasis on international, bilateral and Community policies, action plans, legislation, activities and agreements);
- International co-operation and geopolitics of supply (with special emphasis on co-operation programmes and information on producer and transit countries);
- Control of trade in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, as provided for in the relevant present or future international conventions and Community acts;
- Implications of the drugs phenomenon for producer, consumer and transit countries.


The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) provides statistical, documentary and technical information to assist the Community and the member states to formulate policies on drugs and drug addiction within their respective areas of competence. To this end, the Centre carries out four main types of activity:

1. Collection and analysis of existing data:
The EMCDDA will:
- collect, register and analyse information, including data resulting from research, communicated by member states as well as that emanating from Community, non-governmental national sources and competent international organisations;
- carry out surveys, preparatory studies and feasibility studies, together with any pilot projects necessary to accomplish its tasks; organise meetings of experts and, whenever necessary, set up ad hoc working parties for the purpose; it sets up and makes available open scientific documentation resources and assists in the promotion of information activities;
- provide an organisational and technical system capable of supplying information on similar or complementary programmes or action pursued by the member states;
- co-ordinate, in consultation and in co-operation with the competent authorities and organisations in the member states, the Reitox network;
- facilitate exchanges of information between decision-makers, researchers, specialists and those involved in combating drugs in governmental and non-governmental organisations.

2. Improvement of data-comparison methods:
The EMCDDA will:
- ensure improved comparability, objectivity and reliability of data at European level by establishing indicators and common criteria of a non-binding nature, compliance with which may be recommended by the Centre, with a view to greater uniformity of the measurement methods used by the member states and the Community;
- facilitate and structure exchange of information, in terms of both quality and quantity (databases).

3. Dissemination of data:
The EMCDDA will:
- make the information produced by it available to the Community, the member states and competent organisations;
- ensure wide dissemination of work done in each member state and by the Community itself, and, where appropriate, by non-Community countries or international organisations;
- ensure wide dissemination of reliable non-confidential data, on the basis of data which it gathers;
- publish a yearly report on the state of the drugs problem.

4. Co-operation with European and international bodies and organisations and with non-Community countries:
The EMCDDA will:
- contribute to improving co-ordination between national and Community action in its areas of activity; 1
- without prejudice to member states' obligations with regard to transmission of information under the provisions of the United Nations Conventions on drugs, promote the incorporation of data on drugs and drug addiction gathered in the member states or emanating from the Community into international monitoring and drug-control programmes, particularly those established by the United Nations Organisation and its specialised agencies;
- co-operate actively with international organizations and governmental and non-governmental agencies competent in the sector of drugs.


Aims to:
- consolidate and develop the EMCDDA’s achievements so far while facing the challenge of EU enlargement;
- cope with relevant EU priorities and any changes resulting from the expected modification of the EMCDDA founding regulation, and;
- keep in tune with the capabilities of member states and Reitox national focal points to finance and undertake national work in the drugs’ field.

Focuses on:
- improving data quality;
- adapting to the changing EU political landscape;
- making full use of all available information to show the value of an EU-level perspective and a harmonised approach, and;
- evaluating the effectiveness of responses to the drug problem by member states and acceding countries.

Operational objectives:
- Monitoring the drug phenomenon (this is considered fundamental and continuous).
- Thematic analysis of the drug phenomenon (focusing on issues arising from ongoing work, emerging trends or key policy issues).


The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has at its disposal the European Information Network on Drugs and Drug Addiction (Reitox), a computer network forming the infrastructure for collecting and exchanging information and documentation. Reitox is a network of National focal points (NFPs) set up in the 25 EU member states and Norway, and the European Commission.

The Centre carries out its tasks in the light of the objectives adopted in the three-year and annual work programmes. In pursuing its activities, it - in order to avoid duplication - takes account of the activities already carried out by other existing or future institutions and agencies, notably the European Police Office (Europol), and ensures that it adds to their value.

The activities of the Centre are overseen by a Management Board consisting of one representative from each member state, two representatives from the Commission and two scientists specialized in the field of drugs appointed by the European Parliament. The Management Board draws up its own rules of procedure and meets at least once a year. It adopts the three-year and annual work programmes and an annual general report on the activities of the EMCDDA.

The Centre is headed by a Director, who is its legal representative. The Director is appointed by and accountable to the Management Board.

A Scientific Committee assists both the Management Board and the Director on scientific matters concerning the Centre's activities. The Committee consists of one representative from each member state.

The EMCDDA seeks actively co-operation with international organisations and other, particularly European, governmental and non-governmental agencies competent in the sector of drugs. The Centre is open to participation of those non-Community countries which share the Community's interests in the Centre's objectives and work.

The Centre may not take any measure which in any way goes beyond the sphere of information and the processing thereof. It collects no data making it possible to identify individuals or small groups of individuals and it refrains from any transmission of information relating to specific named cases.


The programme is based on the Council Regulation (EEC) No 302/93 of 8 February 1993 on the establishment of a European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top