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Migration and Home Affairs

Drugs and drug addiction – expanding the mandate of the European monitoring centre (EMCDDA)

Date of roadmap: 4/06/2020

Illicit drugs are a complex security and health problem that affects millions of people in the EU and globally. Violence linked to drugs trafficking is increasing in Europe and the drug markets is the main source of income for organised crime groups. The European Drug Report 2019 points out that 96 million adults (or just over a quarter of 15- to 64-year-olds) in the European Union are estimated to have tried illicit drugs during their lives. In 2017, 8,238 overdose deaths occurred in the EU.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drugs Addiction (EMCDDA) was established in 1993 with the mission to provide the EU and its Member States with factual, objective, reliable and comparable information at European level on drugs and drug addiction and their consequences.

The European Commission carried out an evaluation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in 2018/19. The Commission report (PDF) was adopted on 15 May 2019.

Although the evaluation showed that the functioning of the Agency in relation to the five evaluation criteria (coherence, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, EU added-value) is positive, it also pointed out that further improvements would be beneficial in several areas.

Building on the outcomes of the evaluation, the Commission is putting forward an initiative to revise the mandate of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction as the founding Regulation is not ‘fit for purpose’ anymore to address the current and future challenges of the drug phenomenon in the EU.

The general objective of a revision of the EMCDDA Regulation would be to have an Agency, which is appropriately equipped to deal with the current and future challenges posed by drugs in the EU.

The specific objectives of a potential proposal are:

  • to increase the Agency’s capacity to react faster and in a more targeted way to new challenges in the field of drugs and addictions and related threats;
  • to deepen the monitoring and analysis of the drug phenonmenon in Europe, both on the supply and demand side;
  • to better clarify the mandate of the Agency as regards what substances should be covered; and
  • to provide support to Member States in shaping and evaluating their drugs policies.

More details on the planned initiative are available in the inception impact assessment.

Inception Impact Assessment

The Inception Impact Assessment published in June 2020 serves to inform stakeholders and citizens about how the Commission intends to take this initiative forward.

The feedback period is open from 4 June to 30 July 2020. Stakeholders and citizens are invited to provide their input through the dedicated feedback mechanism.

Reference documents