The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is an agency of the European Union located located in Lisbon, Portugal. Established in 1993, the EMCDDA strives to be the "reference point" on drug usage for the European Union's Member States, and to deliver "factual, objective, reliable and comparable information" about drug usage, drug addiction and related health complications, including hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.

Though the EMCDDA primarily serves Europe, it also works with other partners, scientists and policy-makers around the world.

Mission and Role

The EMCDDA was founded on the principle that independent scientific research is a "vital resource to help Europe understand the nature of its drug problems and better respond to them."

Its stated missions are to:

  • Provide the Community and EU Member States with: 'factual, objective, reliable and comparable information at European level concerning drugs and drug addiction and their consequences';
  • Collect, register and analyse information on 'emerging trends', particularly in polydrug use, and the combined use of licit and illicit psychoactive substances;
  • Offer information on best practice in the EU Member States and facilitate exchange of such practice between them

Among the Centre's target groups are policy-makers, who use this information to help formulate coherent national and EU drug strategies. Also served are professionals and researchers working in the drugs field and, more broadly, the European media and general public.

At the heart of the Centre's work is the task of improving the comparability of drug information across Europe and devising 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. A key feature of the drug phenomenon is its shifting, dynamic nature, and tracking new developments is a central task of the EMCDDA.

Network, Reports and Partnerships

The Centre obtains information primarily from the "Reitox network": a group of focal points in each of the 28 EU Member States, Norway, the candidate countries to the EU, and at the European Commission. This human and computer network links the national information systems of the 28 Member States, Norway, and their key partners to the EMCDDA. It acts as a practical instrument for the collection and exchange of data and information.

The annual report on the state of the drugs problem in the European Union and Norway and an online statistical bulletin offer a yearly overview of the latest European drug situation and trends. Meanwhile online country situation summaries provide a pool of national drug-related data.

The EMCDDA works in partnership with non-EU countries as well as with international bodies such as the United Nations International Drug Control Programme, the World Health Organisation, the Council of Europe’s Pompidou Group, the World Customs Organization, the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) and the European Police Office.

Add new comment