The EMCDDA Management Board, meeting in Lisbon this week, held elections today for the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board.

Laura d’Arrigo (France), Diplomatic advisor at the French Interministerial Mission for Combating Drugs and Addictive Behaviours (Mission interministérielle de lutte contre les drogues et les conduites addictives — MILDECA) was re-elected Chair for the next three years. Ms d’Arrigo has been member of the Board since December 2013 and is the first woman to hold the position.

After several years working for the EU institutions, in particular the European Commission, Ms d’Arrigo was entrusted by the French authorities in 2007 to contribute to implementing and coordinating French foreign policy in the drugs field, both at bilateral and multilateral level. Between 2010 and 2014, she chaired the Permanent Correspondents of the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe.

Franz Pietsch (Austria) was re-elected to the position of Vice-Chair today. Mr Pietsch, who has been a member of the Board since 2002, is representative of Austria regarding international matters of addiction and drug issues and is Deputy Director-General and Head of Department for Tobacco, Alcohol, Non-substance-related Addictions and International Affairs of Addiction.

Commenting on the results, EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel said: ‘I congratulate the Chair and Vice-Chair on their re-election and thank them for their hard work and cooperation throughout their first mandate. I look forward to working with them in accomplishing the EMCDDA Strategy 2025 and work programme for 2019–21 and, together, contributing to a healthier and more secure Europe‘.

Claude Gillard (Belgium), founding member of the agency, was also re-elected today as member and Chair of the EMCDDA Budget Committee. Mr Gillard has chaired the committee since 2003. Lars Petersen (Denmark) was elected as member of the Executive Committee.

The Management Board is the EMCDDA’s main decision-making body and meets twice a year. It consists of one representative from each EU Member State, Turkey and Norway, two European Commission representatives and two independent experts in the drugs field designated by the European Parliament.

At its meeting in Lisbon this week (13–14 December), the Board gave its final seal of approval on the agency’s 2019 budget and work programme 2019–21. Discussions also covered cooperation between the agency and Albania and Ukraine and procedures for establishing a list of experts to assist the EMCDDA Scientific Committee in risk assessments of new psychoactive substances. A call for expression of interest will be launched on the agency’s website in Spring 2019. Finally, the Board discussed the key conclusions of an external evaluation of the EMCDDA and recent developments in cannabis policies.