It is 20 years today since the EMCDDA’s founding regulation, Council Regulation (EEC) Nº 302/93, came into effect. On 29 October 1993, the Heads of State decided that the seat of the EMCDDA would be Lisbon and the regulation entered into force the following day.

Over these years, the agency has established strong mechanisms in Europe to carry out regular and sustained monitoring of developments in the field as well as to ensure rapid responses to new substances. A central challenge for the EMCDDA today is to continue to deliver high-quality analyses on established topics while, at the same time, extending its work in less developed but strategically important areas, with the same or fewer resources. As the European drug problem evolves, the agency strives to ensure that its tools and approaches keep pace with developments and remain fit for purpose. The EMCDDA’s current three-year strategy and work plan rest on the recognition that the achievements the agency has made since its inception have been delivered by maintaining clarity of purpose, technical rigour and a long-term vision.