The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) will be continuing their fruitful 10-year cooperation, thanks to a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two bodies today in Lisbon. The signatories were Rector of ISCTE-IUL Professor Maria de Lurdes Reis Rodrigues and EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel.

The EMCDDA and ISCTE-IUL signed their first MoU in 2011, ahead of the first European Drugs Summer School (EDSS), organised by the two partners in 2012. They renewed the agreement in 2017 for a period of five years.

The new MoU aims to:

  • promote effective cooperation in academic and scientific activities in areas of common interest; and
  • enhance the scientific, technical and human capacity and potential of the two organisations.

The MoU includes opportunities for:

  • exchange of scientific experts and university professors (for teaching and research purposes);
  • exchange of information, knowledge and expertise in areas of common interest;
  • collaborative research, lectures, symposia and similar activities;
  • joint academic programmes (including summer schools); and
  • trainee exchanges.

The MoU is in line with the EMCDDA Strategy 2025, which states that the EMCDDA’s partnerships with universities, research centres and scientific bodies, among others, allow the agency to maintain a close and ongoing understanding of developments in the research area. Such partnerships to date have also supported the development of European and international standards and have facilitated the reporting and interpretation of European data at international level.

The organisations are currently preparing the two-week, face-to-face 2022 EDSS in Lisbon (27 June to 8 July), focusing on 'Community-based interventions for drug-related issues'.

In 2020, due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, an online European Drugs Winter School (EDWS) was introduced. This option has since been maintained, facilitating the participation of those unable to travel to Lisbon.

Together, the EDSS and EDWS have trained over 500 professionals from all over the world with various academic and professional backgrounds.