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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/119

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-0491/98 and E-0740/98
given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(27 March 1998)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Members to the answer to written question E-440/98 by
Mr Alavanos (1).

(1) See page 105.

(98/C 304/179) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0492/98

by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission

(2 March 1998)

Subject: Community subsidies for illegal crops

According to reports in the European press, the Commission would appear to be particularly disconcerted by the
suspicion that part of the subsidies for growers of medicinal and aromatic plants is being channelled into funding
crops such as marijuana. The same reports state that the inadequacy of national government checks is creating
misgivings about the use of the subsidies.

The issue has far-reaching ethical implications as it appears that European citizens’ money is being channelled
into subsidizing illegal crops while the EU is doing its utmost to protect our young people from drug use.

What information does the Commission have about Community-funded subsidization of cannabis growing in the
EU and what measures will it take to ensure the proper use of resources from the Community budget?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(26 March 1998)

The Community regulations on the conditions for granting aid for hemp lay down strict requirements on various
points. In particular they restrict aid granted for certified seeds to those varieties with a tetrahydrocannabinol
content not exceeding 0.3%. To that end, there is a Community list of varieties meeting that criterion, which can
be verified by a Community method of quantitative chemical analysis. In addition, the official labels of the seeds
used must be handed in and the crop must be harvested after seed formation has occurred.

The Commission is also considering making the conditions for granting aid even stricter than at present, in
particular through a system of compulsory contracts between growers and the processing industry.

The Commission has no information concerning areas under hemp qualifying for Community aid and actually
producing hemp to be used as drugs. Nevertheless, the Commission is concerned about the problem of controls.
Should this prove impossible to solve, it reserves the right to propose that the aid scheme for hemp be