Proposal for a European Union Drugs Agency
On 12 January 2022, the European Commission published a proposal for the creation of a European Union Drugs Agency. The proposed Regulation provides for a targeted revision of the mandate of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
The EMCDDA, established in 1993 and based in Lisbon, aims at providing the EU and its Member States with factual, objective, reliable, and comparable information (at the European level) on drugs and drug addiction and their consequences. To achieve this objective within its areas of activity, the Centre collects and analyses existing data, disseminates data, improves data-comparison methods, cooperates with European and international bodies/organisations and with third countries, and informs the competent authorities of the Member States of new developments and changing trends.
The proposed Regulation revises the organisation and capabilities of the EMCDDA, giving it a stronger role in combating the challenges posed by drugs in the EU. Under the enhanced mandate, the European Union Drugs Agency would have better monitoring and threat assessment capabilities. A network of forensic and toxicological laboratories would be established to pool the expertise of national laboratories. The role of the national focal points would be reinforced, given that they will provide the new Agency with the respective data. In addition, the Agency would be mandated with developing EU-level prevention and awareness-raising campaigns, with issuing alerts if particularly dangerous substances become available on the European market, and with monitoring and addressing the use of poly-substances (i.e. the addictive use of other substances when linked to drug use).
Ultimately, the international role of the Agency would be strengthened. Following the legislative procedure, the proposal will now be discussed by the Council and the European Parliament.