The EMCDDA's organisation consists of a Directorate to manage the Centre, two statutory bodies (Management Board and Scientific Committee) to advise and assist in the decision making process, and, finally, the various working units (which comprises the majority of the EMCDDA's staff) to run the Centre and ultimately deliver its output (reports, briefings, etc.).



The Directorate (DIR) consists of the Director and a management team. The Director of the EMCDDA is proposed by the European Commission and appointed by the Centre's Management Board for a renewable five-year period.

Mission statement: Managing the Centre as a whole, namely ensuring that the Centre's objectives and related tasks, set out in the founding regulation, are duly achieved through:

  • preparing and implementing the Centre's work programmes;
  • preparing and implementing the Centre’s budget;
  • preparing and implementing all other decisions and programmes adopted by the Centre's Management Board;
  • preparing a statement of revenue and expenditure and on the implementation of the budget;
  • ensuring the production of the publications required by the Centre's Regulation (EC) no 1920/2006;
  • preparing and implementing all staff matters;
  • ensuring day-to-day administration and management.

Executive office unit (EXO)

The Executive Office (EXO) supports the Director to achieve the Strategy 2025 through good governance, strategic planning and setting of priorities; collection of performance information to facilitate sound decision making and through internal coordination of institutional requests and support to the Management Board.

Scientific coordination unit (SDI)

The main purpose of the creation of a Scientific coordination and of the post of Scientific director is to give a more integrated and consistent approach to the problem-solution cycle, with special focus on providing the scientifically sound information and advice required by policymakers. To achieve this, the Scientific director should strengthen the overall coordination of the agency’s scientific activities and give greater coherence, common purpose and leadership, aiming at improving the overall quality and rigour of the agency’s scientific work and outputs. In short, the Scientific director should further raise the agency’s scientific reputation to increase its usefulness and relevance for policymakers.

Mission statement: To provide leadership to the scientific units ensuring their work is coordianated, integrated and of high scientific quality.

The principal aims are:

  • to provide the EMCDDA with the technical capacities necessary to deliver the agency’s mission of providing factual, objective, reliable and comparable information intended to help the EU and Member States when taking measures or deciding on action;
  • to ensure that EU Member States, through the EMCDDA, have at their disposal high-quality tools and a methodologically sound framework to collect reliable and comparable data on the European drug problem and the solutions applied to it;
  • to help the EMCDDA accomplish its mission of being a centre of excellence for reporting on all aspects of the drug phenomenon in Europe;
  • to ensure that that the EMCDDA’s scientific work is carried out rigorously, impartially and with high technical standards, and that its scientific activities are well planned and efficiently managed;
  • to provide a strong internal and external voice for the agency’s scientific work and ensure that the scientific staff are valued, well motivated and share a strong sense of common purpose.

Public health unit (HEA)

Mission statement: saving lives and contributing to a healthier Europe

To support the development and implementation of evidence-based public health policies and responses, through the collection, analysis and dissemination of state of the art information on drug use and its health and social consequences.

Risks to public safety and security unit (SAS)

Mission statement: To lead and contribute to the EMCDDA actions that support and strengthen national and EU-level preparedness and responses to cross-border security and public health threats related to drugs and new psychoactive substances by providing high quality data and analysis on markets, related crime and harms, including through early warning, threat assessment and scientific risk assessment.

Mission statements of SAS unit sectors:

  • Action on new drugs sector (AND): To detect, assess, and respond to public health and social threats caused by new psychoactive substances through monitoring, early warning and risk assessment activities in order to support and strengthen national and EU-level preparedness and responses.
  • Markets, crime and supply reduction sector (MARS): To identify and respond to drug-related security threats by providing high-quality data and analysis of drug markets, drug-related crime and drug supply reduction to support policy and practice through the tailored production and dissemination of knowledge and provision of expertise.

Reitox and external partners unit (RTX)

The main role of the Reitox and external partners unit is to coordinate a network of National focal points (NFPs), set up in the 28 EU Member States, Norway, the European Commission and in the candidate countries. Together, these information collection and exchange points form Reitox, the European information network on drugs and drug addiction.

Mission statement:

  • to assist the scientific departments of the EMCDDA in coordinating the collection of the data in all Member States through the Reitox National focal points;
  • to assist the National focal points in their active participation in the EMCDDA work programmes, namely the implementation of the key indicators and other core data, at national level, and in the production of their national reporting (national report, standard tables and structured questionnaires);
  • to promote the Reitox-based model for data collection on drugs in Europe.

Communication unit (COM)

The work of the Communication unit includes: media relations, marketing, inter-institutional communication, special events, publications and distribution.

Mission statement: The mission of the Communication unit is to provide the European Union and its Member States with a high-quality and highly valued information service on the drugs phenomenon in Europe.

Its principal aims are:

  • to ensure that the information produced by the Centre is tailored to the needs of its target groups, which means it must be timely, analytical, up-to-date, concise and in the right format;
  • to raise awareness of the European drug problem, in general, and the role of the EMCDDA, in particular, via a broad yet targeted dissemination of the information produced by the Centre with a clear brand image;
  • to promote the EMCDDA as a centre of excellence among drug experts, researchers and practitioners by producing information of a high scientific standard.

Information and communication technology unit (ICT)

The responsibilities of the Information and communication technology (ICT) unit comprise:

  • the development and maintenance of the EMCDDA ICT infrastructure;
  • the provision of ICT advice for projects;
  • the management of online services and databases.

Mission statement: To study, implement and operate the information systems and electronic services that are required to support the scientific and administrative work processes.

Resources management and administrative services unit (ADM)

The work of the Resources management and administrative services team includes: human and material resources; financial and accounting management; planning and evaluation; and documentation and archives.

Mission statement: To enhance the ability of the EMCDDA to function as a best-practice, knowledge-based and service-oriented public administration by:

  • providing in-house high-quality administrative, legal and financial support and advice for the sound management of the EMCDDA activities;
  • ensuring an effective and efficient planning, management and monitoring/control of the use of the EMCDDA resources and assets;
  • ensuring and promoting the implementation of the relevant regulations and procedures applying to the EMCDDA as an EU decentralised agency.