The EMCDDA Management Board took the unanimous decision today to renew the mandate of the agency’s Director, Alexis Goosdeel, for the next five years. Mr Goosdeel took up the post of EMCDDA Director on 1 January 2016 and will now hold the position until 31 December 2025.
Chair of the EMCDDA Management Board Laura d’Arrigo welcomed the re-appointment stating: ‘I congratulate Mr Goosdeel on the renewal of his mandate. It shows the recognition by the Management Board of his vision for the EMCDDA and of the work accomplished under his guidance. The Director and his team have delivered first-rate results over this period, while demonstrating their ability and agility to adapt to unprecedented change. I wish him all the best for the next term at the helm of this forward-looking agency’.
On taking up his post in 2016, Mr Goosdeel (Belgium) launched EMCDDA Strategy 2025, a long-term strategic and operational plan, presenting a vision to contribute to a ‘healthier and more secure Europe’ through better informed drug policy and action. Mr Goosdeel swiftly restructured the agency and its priorities to align with the strategy, mirroring the two pillars of public health and security. This year, the agency is delivering on the strategy’s Roadmap 2020, while designing the new Roadmap 2025.
During his first term, Mr Goosdeel paid special attention to initiating a project management programme and performance management system and progressively moving the agency towards a service-oriented model to provide more tailored analyses and services to its primary customer groups. In 2019, the EMCDDA achieved its highest operational and financial performance to date and received a positive fourth external evaluation for the period 2013–18. The latter highlighted the EMCDDA as a true hub of scientific excellence, both in Europe and internationally.
Since March 2020, COVID-19 has put the EMCDDA’s responsiveness to the test, both in terms of business continuity and monitoring the drug phenomenon. Under Mr Goosdeel’s guidance, the agency has acted quickly and proactively to adapt its working methods and production cycles to address new problems and needs. ‘Taking the pulse’ of the impact of COVID-19, it has published an array of resources which explore drug market changes and the challenges faced by people who use drugs as well as the frontline services supporting them. The agency has also provided new services to drug users and to professionals working in the drugs field.
Reacting to the decision, Alexis Goosdeel said: ‘It is an honour and a privilege to be reappointed today to take the EMCDDA forward on an ambitious course of travel to 2025. The agency has an exciting future ahead of it and is ready to innovate and re-invent itself as required within the boundaries of its remit. My renewal comes in the year when the EMCDDA is celebrating an important milestone: its 25 years of monitoring. Little could we have imagined a few months ago what a special year this would turn out to be, and we are now more convinced than ever of the need to keep pace with new threats and developments. In an era when digital transformation becomes vital for organisations to deliver value to stakeholders, we will continue pursuing the use of new technologies for business optimisation and communication and develop a new business model to help us contribute more efficiently to a healthier and more secure Europe’.
Note to editors
See Alexis’ Goosdeel’s profile at www.emcdda.europa.eu/about/director
The EMCDDA Director is the legal representative of the agency and is accountable to the Management Board, the agency’s main decision-making body. Appointed for a renewable five-year period, the Director is responsible for the day-to-day running of the agency (work programmes, budget and staff).
The EMCDDA provides the EU and its Member States with ‘factual, objective, reliable and comparable information at European level concerning drugs and drug addiction and their consequences’. Formally established in 1993, it has been operational since 1995.