The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has called for higher prices and tougher marketing restrictions to reduce alcohol-related harm, in a report commissioned by the current EU president nation, Sweden.

Its report focused on marketing and pricing policies to reduce alcohol harm to children, arguing current marketing campaigns increase the likelihood of children and adolescents beginning to drink.

The EESC proposed stricter regulations around where and when alcohol producers can advertise.

Drinks bodies criticised the report: "Marketing restrictions are not necessarily a way to fight alcohol abuse," Niall Doheny, of Brewers of Europe spokesperson told just-drinks this afternoon (6 October).

"Marketing is there to let consumers see the difference between one product and another. It is not there to get children drinking."

The EESC's report also advocated increased awareness campaigns for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). It estimated between five and nine million children in Europe are adversely affected by alcoholism in their families.