A major task in 2015, also in cooperation with Europol, will be the preparation of the second EU drug markets report (for release in 2016). Further progress is also expected to be achieved in the development of drug supply indicators. This includes the pilot implementation of revised reporting instruments on: drug seizures; drug production facilities; and drug law offences.
In terms of data-collection tools and processes, a prominent element in the programme is the launch of a revised national reporting package, following extensive consultation with the Reitox focal points. The new package, which determines how data are reported from the Member States to the EMCDDA, is designed to ensure efficiency, match priorities and resources and better address the information needs of European and national stakeholders.
The EMCDDA has been preparing beneficiary countries of the EC’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) for participation in its work since 2008. After the successful closure of its IPA 4 project in 2014, and confirmation from the European Commission, the agency embarks on IPA 5 this spring.
Finally, a critical task for the EMCDDA in 2015 will be ensuring the ongoing implementation of the EU Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances (NPS). Speaking of the challenges in this area before the European Parliament Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on 21 January, Director Wolfgang Götz said: ‘The EMCDDA leads the world in the collection, exchange and analysis of information on new psychoactive substances’. However, he regretted that current resources were insufficient for the agency ‘to cope with the increasing number of substances being identified’ and ‘to ensure effective monitoring’.
The EMCDDA has published today its 2015 annual work programme, adopted by its Management Board on 5 December. The new programme sets out the objectives for the final year of the agency’s 2013–15 strategy (1) and promises to build a solid bridge between current priorities and those defined for the next three years (2016–18).
Among the new features in 2015 will be the transformation in the way in which the agency presents statistics online. Changes will include: a clearer distinction between data and analysis; improved documentation of methods; and a better web interface. This will be one of the highlights of the 2015 European Drug Report package (June), for which delivery on the web will remain a central theme.
In the course of the year, the agency will publish four in-depth reviews in its Insights series on: psychiatric comorbidities; hepatitis C treatment; wastewater analysis; and the Internet and drug markets. A review on the drug policies of large cities will also be produced, as well as a joint EMCDDA–Europol threat assessment on methamphetamine. Evidence-based decision making will continue to be supported by the recently revamped Best practice portal.