2021 was a year of transformation for the EMCDDA as the agency reached new milestones in its journey towards a customer-centric, data-driven and digitally-enabled organisation. These developments are described in the latest General Report of Activities released today. The annual report presents the implementation of the agency’s work programme activities in 2021, by providing an overview of key achievements and governance.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to unfold, the agency produced 49 scientific and institutional publications, as well as 25 co-authored scientific articles and book chapters. The EMCDDA also kept pace with current threats, releasing four new COVID-19 special reports and formally notifying 52 psychoactive substances during the year (a 15 % increase from 2020).
The hybrid working model presented new opportunities, such as an enlarged potential in training capacity. In 2021, the EMCDDA trained a record of 870 health practitioners, law-enforcement officers and policymakers in the EU and partner countries and impacted around 2 000 people through eight webinars. The public website also saw a 10 % increase in visitors, reaching over 1.8 million internet users, which strengthened the agency’s knowledge-sharing community.
A digital portfolio of products and services was offered in 2021. This included the European Drug Report 2021 — which was launched virtually from Brussels, Paris and Lisbon — and the agency’s first fully digital flagship report in the form of Miniguides on health and social responses to drug problems. The EMCDDA and Europol also conceptualised the EU Drug Markets: In-depth analysis to be launched progressively in 2022 and 2023, in an online modular format.
At EU level, the agency provided technical input, as required, to the preparation of the new EU Drugs Action Plan 2021–2025.
Finally, 2021 was a year of international cooperation towards a healthier and more secure Europe. The EMCDDA launched its first bilateral technical assistance project with Georgia (EMCDDA4GE), and continued to implement successfully two EU-funded technical cooperation projects, the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance 7 (IPA 7) and EU4Monitoring Drugs (EU4MD).