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Organisation

The ESSD board

The ESSD has been operating since 1990, and organising annual conferences ever since. For most of its history an informal ESSD Board has supported and guided the organisation of the annual conferences. In recent years, some board members also sat on the ESSD Editorial Board to organise and support the dissemination and promotion of findings presented at ESSD conferences through publications.

It was agreed at a members’ meeting at the 2015 conference that it was time to place some of the aspects of the organisation and running of the ESSD onto a more formal footing, especially elections to the ESSD Board and membership. An interim board to act as a working group to progress these changes was set up in November 2015 and prepared the ESSD Societal Code. This board reported back to members at the 2016 conference in Frankfurt, and the members present voted to approve the code and proposed changes in principle.

The interim board is updating the ESSD membership list. Regular members of the ESSD will be European scholars, researchers or analysts from the social science field and who are working on issues related to psychoactive substances (prohibited or otherwise). Others who wish to join the ESSD will be affiliate members.

The interim board is also currently preparing for elections of members to the next ESSD Board, which will come into office after the 2017 conference in September, for a period of four years. All regular ESSD members are able to stand for election to the new board.

For further details, see the ESSD Societal Code.

ESSD Interim Board members

  • Professor Dr Dirk Korf (President) (Netherlands)
  • Professor Dr Tom Decorte (Belgium)
  • Professor Dr Jane Fountain (UK)
  • Professor Dr Ludwig Kraus (Germany)
  • Dr Aileen O'Gorman (UK)
  • Dr Gary Potter (UK)
  • Dr Bernd Werse (Germany)
  • Annemieke Benschop MSc (Secretariat) (Netherlands)

  • ESSD Interim Board duties

    The main duties of the ESSD board are:

  • Oversee, coordinate, support and guide the organisation of the annual conferences.
  • Oversee, organise and support the dissemination and promotion of findings presented at ESSD conferences (through publications).
  • Provide strategic direction of the ESSD (including monitoring the effectiveness of the ESSD and provide direction on what needs to change in order that the society continues to be relevant).
  • Liaise and communicate with external organisations, stakeholders and partners.
  • Be accountable to the membership.


  • Until the 2017 Conference in September, the ESSD Interim Board will be working on the following:
  • Finalising the ESSD Societal Code and planning its implementation.
  • Oversee the ESSD Board election process.
  • Working on methods of enhancing the ESSD in order to encourage new members, more conference participants and more contributions to ESSD publications.
  • Supporting the 2017 annual conference organiser.
  • Determining the conference themes.
  • Reviewing abstracts submitted to the conference.
  • Maintaining the member database.
  • Maintaining and updating the ESSD website.
  • Publicising the ESSD at other conferences and through professional networks.
  • Editing the submissions and writing the introduction to the 2017 publication (a special issue of the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy).
  • Publicising the 2016 book.

  • Funding

    The ESSD has no funding nor income, and does not charge a membership free, nor a registration fee for conference participants. Those who volunteer to host the annual conference agree to obtain the necessary funding (room hire, refreshments, printing, etc).

    Currently, however, the Pompidou Group (PG) of the Council of Europe provides limited funding to support an annual publication by the ESSD. These funds are paid to the Bonger Institute of Criminology at the University of Amsterdam (where the ESSD Secretariat is based), agreed and supervised by the PG, and administered by the ESSD Secretariat The funding covers some of the travel and accommodation costs of a publication meeting and a contribution towards secretarial and administrative support. As far as the budget allows, the year’s editors may receive an honorarium for specific editorial tasks and contributions to the annual publication.