EMCDDA intensifies its cooperation with the Western Balkans and the European Neighbourhood Policy area

This month, the EMCDDA has launched two new projects which will intensify its cooperation with the Western Balkans and the European Neighbourhood Policy area (ENP). The EU-funded projects, running until the end of 2026 and 2027 respectively, will support national and regional readiness to identify and respond to drug-related health and security threats. The projects take place within the agency’s mandate for cooperation with third (non-EU) countries (1). They aim to improve understanding of drug use and drug problems in order to provide a sound and comprehensive evidence base to inform policy and practice.

Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance 8 project (IPA8)

Focus: Western Balkans
Timetable: January 2023–December 2026
Budget: EUR 1.5 million


  • to promote and support Western Balkan uptake of EU best practices and approaches in the areas of health and security;
  • to strengthen strategic and operational cooperation within the Western Balkans, and between the region and the EU, in the area of drug monitoring and information (using EU standards and tools).

What’s new? IPA8 will place a stronger focus on data collection and quality feedback, as well as on strengthening national drug observatories and national early-warning systems on new psychoactive substances.

Previously… IPA7 ran from July 2019 to December 2022.

EU4Monitoring Drugs II (EU4MD II)

Focus: European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) area
Timetable: January 2023–December 2027
Budget: EUR 4 million


  • to strengthen cooperation and share expertise on monitoring the drugs problem with the countries in the ENP area;
  • to boost the technical expertise and capacity of the ENP partners to develop and contribute to contemporary drug monitoring and response systems;
  • to increase the capacity to collect and exchange data in order to co-produce strategic analyses on emerging trends and threats in drug markets bordering the EU;
  • to enhance the preparedness of ENP partners to respond to emerging drug-related health and security threats in the ENP region.

What’s new? EU4MD II will place a stronger focus on consolidating national monitoring systems by offering structured support to national drug observatories (where they exist) or by supporting national policymakers in their discussions on national drug monitoring systems.

Previously… The first phase of the EU4MD project ran from January 2019 to December 2022 (see Key milestones 2019−2022).