Cooperation with Ecuador enhanced through new Working Arrangement

Cooperation with Ecuador was enhanced today following the signing of a Working Arrangement between the European Union Drugs Agency (EUDA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador. The agreement was signed in Lisbon by EUDA Executive Director Alexis Goosdeel and H.E Xavier Aliaga Sancho, Ambassador and Head of the Mission of Ecuador to the European Union.

H.E Xavier Aliaga Sancho, Ambassador and Head of the Mission of Ecuador to the European Union, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and EUDA Executive Director Alexis Goosdeel at signing ceremony, 3 July 2024,Lisbon

The signing ceremony took place in the presence of European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson following the official inauguration of the EUDA this morning. The new agency replaces the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), which had been operating in Lisbon since 1995. The EUDA has a stronger role than its predecessor in the area of international cooperation.

Among others, the agreement illustrates the importance of having a sound national drug information system, headed by a national drug observatory, as the basis for effective drug policy and action. It will also contribute to the EU’s preparedness to face drug-related threats, an issue of particular relevance to the EUDA.

Through the agreement, the two parties have agreed to exchange expertise and data on new psychoactive substances (NPS) and establish and strengthen an Early Warning System on Drugs in Ecuador. They will also exchange best practices in health and social responses to drug issues, including prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and social integration. The initiative includes the exchange of experiences in monitoring the cocaine market.

The new arrangement was endorsed by the EMCDDA Management Board in June 2024, following consultation with the European Commission. The information obtained through the arrangement will provide both parties with valuable new insights into current and future drug problems and contribute to their ongoing strategic goals.

Commissioner Johansson and Belgian Minister of the Interior, Annelies Verlinden, visited Ecuador in 2023 in a move to strengthen cooperation between the EU and key third countries in the global fight against drug trafficking.

Ecuador is one of the countries participating the ongoing COPOLAD III programme.