The Council regulation establishing the EMCDDA provides for the institutionalisation of the Centre’s Scientific Committee. This Committee advises and assists the Management Board and the Director and delivers its opinion on any scientific aspect of the Centre's activities which the Board or the Director submit to it. The Committee consists of at most fifteen well-known scientists appointed by the Management Board in view of their scientific excellence and their independence, following a publication of a call for expressions of interest in the Official Journal of the European Union. The selection proceedure ensures that the specialist fields of the members of the Scientific Committee cover the most relevant scientific fields linked to the problems of drug and drug addiction. The members of the Scientific Committee are appointed in a personal capacity and give their opinions completely independently of the Member States and the Community Institutions and serve for a three-year period (renewable). The Scientific Committee takes into account the various positions expressed in national expert opinions, if available, before delivering any opinion. For the purpose of implementing the Council Decision on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances (2005/387/JHA), the Scientific Committee may be extended following the procedure laid down in Article 6 of that Decision.
In May 2011, the Scientific Committee elected its current Chair and Vice-chair.
Chair Dr Marina Davoli (Nationality: Italian)
- Director of the Clinical epidemiology unit, Department of epidemiology, Regional referral centre for the epidemiology of drug addiction and the evaluation of healthcare interventions (ASL RM E), Lazio, Italy.
- Member of the Cochrane Collaboration.
- Co-ordinating editor of the Drugs and Alcohol Review Group.
- Member of the World Health Organisation expert international technical group for developing evidence-based guidelines for treatment of opioid dependence.
Vice-Chair Prof. Dr Gerhard Bühringer (Nationality: German)
- Scientific director of the German IFT Institut für Therapieforschung since 1973
- Professor for addiction research at the Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Technische Universität, Dresden.
- Sits on a number of national and international scientific committees and advisory boards, including: the German Centre for Addiction Issues (DHS) and the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE).
Both are members of a variety of prestigious editorial boards and peer-review panels and have published extensively in the field of drugs and drug addiction.
The Scientific Committee is requested by the EMCDDA founding regulation to give a formal opinion on the three-year/annual work programmes on the basis of a draft submitted by the Centre's Director before it is presented to the Management Board. The Scientific Committee reviews the EMCDDA Annual report with regard to its scientific quality. The Committee plays an important role in the risk assessment of new psychoactive substances. The Committee also gives individual support to the different working areas of the Centre; this might include participation in expert meetings, peer-reviewing publications or offering scientific expertise in other ways. This flexible organisational structure has proven successful in allowing an in-depth cooperation between EMCDDA staff and the members of the Committee. Since its constitution, the Scientific Committee has established itself as an important pillar of the EMCDDA’s institutional life, ensuring the scientific legitimacy of the Centre and providing for continuous improvement of the main outputs.