EMCDDA Wolfgang Götz will be guest of honour at the Austrian Embassy in Lisbon this evening where he will be awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria (1). The award will be bestowed on Mr Götz by His Excellency the Ambassador of Austria Thomas Stelzer (2), on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Austria, Dr Heinz Fischer.
Austria honours both Austrian and foreign leading figures who have been of special service to the country. The law establishing the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria was enacted in 1952 by the country’s National Assembly.
The Federal President confers these honours on receipt of a proposal from an appropriate member of the Federal Government, the President of the National Assembly or the President of the Federal Council.
Mr Götz was nominated for the accolade by Austrian National Drug Coordinator Franz Pietsch, who is also Deputy Director-General of Public Health at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health. Mr Pietsch — who sits on the EMCDDA Management Board — nominated Mr Götz for the award in appreciation of his accomplishments in the drugs field, in general, and in Austria, in particular, and the sound relations he has forged with the country.
Wolfgang Götz has been Director of the EMCDDA since May 2005, having been appointed by the agency’s Management Board in April that year. In July 2009, the Board renewed his mandate unanimously for a further five-year term commencing on 1 May 2010. During his mandate, Mr Götz has paid special attention to enhancing the scientific quality and efficiency of the agency’s work and to providing policymakers with evidence-based information for a more informed and reasoned debate on the drugs problem.
A German civil servant and economist, Mr Götz has been seconded to international organisations since 1985. He has spent most of his successful career managing international projects and teams in the area of collecting, analysing and managing statistics and other information key to policy-making and implementation. Mr Götz was born in Freiburg on 17 November 1951.
In May this year, Mr Götz’s mandate was extended until the end of the year, pending the arrival of his successor in 2016 (3). The EMCDDA Management Board will hold elections this week to select a new candidate for the post.