Council gives final green light to creation of EU drugs agency

The Council today adopted a legislative act which will replace the existing European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) with a European Union Drugs Agency. The agency will play a key role in the EU’s response to new health and security challenges posed by illicit drugs. The seat of the agency will continue to be in Lisbon, Portugal.

Illicit drugs and drug trafficking cause immense harm to our society. It is often one of the root causes of violent organised crime, and is both a national and global security problem. Thanks to the EU Drugs Agency, the EU will be better equipped to tackle these challenges in the future.

Gunnar Strömmer, Swedish minister of justice

I welcome that the role of the EU Drugs Agency in preventing and addressing the health and social implications of drugs and drug addictions will be strenghthened.

Jakob Forssmed, Swedish minister for social affairs and public health

The main tasks of the agency will be the collection, monitoring, analysis and dissemination of data, better preparedness with early warning and risk assessment and evidence-based recommendations of actions as well as competence development to anticipate and counter drug related challenges.

The regulation will also strenghthen the role of the agency in the area of international cooperation. It tasks the agency to actively seek cooperation with international organisations. The agency will also be able to involve third countries in its work.

Background and next steps

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction was set up in 1993 in Lisbon. Its aim is to provide factual, comparable information concerning drugs, drug addiction and their consequences to the EU and the member states to inform their policy making and guide initiatives to address drugs.

The regulation is directly applicable and will apply one year after its entry into force.