Two new working arrangements will be signed in Brussels today between the EMCDDA and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The EMCDDA will now be cooperating with five EU agencies under new legislation applying from 23 November 2018, which strengthens the EU Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances (1). Three existing working arrangements with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC); the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Europol were updated and signed in December 2018 (2).

EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel will be signing the working arrangements with ECHA Executive Director Bjorn Hansen and EFSA Executive Director Bernhard Url. The agreements will ensure that the agencies exchange information on new psychoactive substances, in accordance with their respective mandates.

ECHA has the mandate to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment, including the promotion of alternative methods for assessment of hazards of substances, as well as the free circulation of substances on the internal market while enhancing competitiveness and innovation.

The purpose of EFSA is to contribute to a high level of protection of human life and health and to take account of animal health and welfare, plant health and the environment, in the context of the internal market.

The new arrangements will align the agencies’ working relationships with the new legislation, which allows Europe to rapidly respond to public health and social threats caused by new psychoactive substances.