The EU drugs agency’s Management Board convened for a two-day meeting in Lisbon today, kicking off with elections for Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board.
João Goulão, Portuguese national drug coordinator and Head of the Institute for Drugs and Drug Addiction — the national focal point in the EMCDDA’s Reitox network — was elected Chairman for the next three years. Dr Goulão has been member of the EMCDDA Board since 2005 and previously served on the agency’s Scientific Committee (1997–2002). A medical doctor by profession, Dr Goulão has over 20 years’ experience in preventing and treating drug addiction in Portugal, having steered a variety of national bodies in these fields. He was also a member of the Portuguese commission which proposed the current national drug strategy.
Dr Goulão takes over the position from Marcel Reimen (Luxembourg) whose mandate ends on 31 December this year. A founding member of the Management Board since 1994, Mr Reimen served as Vice-Chairman (1998–2002), before being elected Chairman for a three-year mandate (2004–06) on 2 July 2003. The departing Chairman was re-elected for a second term on 13 December 2006.
During his first mandate (2004–06), Mr Reimen steered the agency through its enlargement to 10 new EU Member States in May 2004. His second mandate (2006–09) coincided with another EU enlargement (2007) and the recast of the EMCDDA regulation, which entered into force in January that year. This granted the agency a more active role in monitoring new drug use patterns and emerging trends.
EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz paid tribute to Mr Reimen for his ‘extraordinary contribution to the development of the agency since its very first steps’.
Claude Gillard (Belgium), another founding member of the agency, was elected to the position of Vice-Chairman today. Mr Gillard has chaired the EMCDDA Budget Committee since 2003 and has greatly facilitated the Board’s decisions on budgetary and financial matters.
At today’s meeting, the Board gave its final seal of approval on the agency’s 2010 budget and work programme. On the eve of the EU–Ukraine Summit (4 December, Kiev), the Board also adopted a Memorandum of Understanding, formalising cooperation between the EMCDDA and the Ukraine. This will be signed in the coming weeks.
The Management Board is the EMCDDA’s main decision-making body. The Board consists of one representative from each EU Member State and Norway, two European Commission representatives and two independent experts in the drugs field designated by the European Parliament.
For more on the EMCDDA, see brochure (available in 25 languages).