Brussels, 16 Dec 2004
The European Parliament has narrowly adopted a recommendation to the Council calling for the development of a common EU strategy to tackle drug problems, and urging Member States to base their national policies on scientific knowledge about each type of drug, rather than on 'an emotional response'.
By a margin of 285 votes in favour to 3 against, with 23 abstentions, MEPs urged the Council to revamp existing mechanisms for European cooperation on drugs policy so as to target large-scale cross-border trafficking and its implications using a scientific approach.
The Parliament called for a boost in funding for science-based information campaigns and for consultations with civil society and professionals about the impact of drug policies.
Finally, MEPs would like to see increased development aid going to drug-producing countries, with programmes to fund sustainable alternative crops, as well as increased research into the use of plants like hemp, opium and coca for medical applications, food security and other beneficial purposes.