Board elects Austrian member Franz Pietsch as Chair and Luxembourgish member Xavier Poos as Vice-Chair

EMCDDA Management Board elections

The EMCDDA Management Board, meeting in Lisbon this week, held elections today for the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board (1).

Franz Pietsch (Austria) was elected to the position of Chair for the next three years, having served as Vice-Chair since 2016. Mr Pietsch, who has been Austrian member of the Board since 2002, is currently Deputy Director-General and Head of the Human Medicines Law Division at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection. He is also President of the Board of Trustees of the Anton Proksch Institute Foundation (one of Europe‘s largest addiction clinics). Over the years, Mr Pietsch has served on the EMCDDA Budgetary Committee and Executive Committee (2). During his career, he has contributed to a wide range of drug-related policies at national, European and international level.

Xavier Poos (Luxembourg) was elected to the position of Vice-Chair today. Mr Poos has served on the Board since 2014, and is Deputy Health Director within the Luxembourg Health Directorate, where he holds the position of Chief administrative and financial officer. He is currently Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Luxembourg Institute of Health.

Also, today, Claude Gillard (Belgium), founding member of the agency, was re-elected as member and Chair of the EMCDDA Budget Committee. Adviser at the Belgian Public Federal Service of Justice, Mr Gillard has chaired the committee since 2003. The Delegate of the Spanish Government for the National Plan on Drugs and National drug coordinator, Dr Joan Villalbí Hereter, was elected member of the Executive Committee.

Commenting on the results, EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel said: ‘I congratulate the candidates on their success today and thank them for their commitment and motivation. I look forward to working with them in accomplishing the EMCDDA Strategy 2025, implementing a new business model and, together, contributing to a healthier and more secure Europe’.

The Management Board is the EMCDDA’s main decision-making body and usually 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 (16–17 December), the Board adopted a new customer-centric business model for the agency and approved the 2022 budget and work programme for 2022–24. The Board also had an exchange of views on new trends in the drugs situation in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, the Board discussed matters of international cooperation, including a Working arrangement between the EMCDDA and Georgia.