Eurocare Welcome Council

“An EU Strategy on the reduction of alcohol related harm”

Eurocare welcomes the Council’s call for an EU Alcohol Strategy 2016-2022 on the 7th December 2015. “Prevention of alcohol related harm is a smart investment for the economy as it costs Europe 2-3% of GDP, it cuts long-term healthcare expenditures and at the same time raises workforce productivity,” says Mariann Skar, Secretary General of Eurocare. “The Commission now needs to respond as both the Council and the Parliament are calling for a new EU Alcohol Strategy. The lack of a Strategy is currently undermining Europe’s efforts for jobs and growth“.

Photo: “An EU Strategy on the reduction of alcohol related harm”

The Council calls on the European Commission to continue to support Member States in their efforts to reduce alcohol-related harm, while fully respecting the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality. By the end of 2016 a comprehensive EU strategy should be adopted with a cross border dimension and an EU added value as a follow up to the first EU Alcohol Strategy (2006-2012) based on the work of CNAPA as well as WHO Global Strategy and WHO European Action Plan 2012-2020.
 
The Council Conclusions are stressing that harmful use of alcohol is recognised as an important risk factor and the need to reduce the burden of alcohol-related avoidable death, chronic diseases, injuries, violence, health inequalities and other social consequences to third parties. The Council emphasises that the reduction of alcohol-related harm requires action on policies across a range of sectors, both at national and at EU level.

The Council invites Member States to promote a multi-sectoral approach and strengthen or develop comprehensive national strategies or action plans. The protection of young people from harmful use of alcohol is highlighted, notably in the field of legal drinking age and marketing exposure.

Member States and the Commission are invited to strengthen the cooperation on identification of effective measures and best practice with a focus on risky drinking behaviour among young people/heavy drinkers/pregnancy and drink driving. Continue to support the work of CNAPA (Member States working group) as well as the involvement of stakeholders at National and European level. The introduction of mandatory labelling of ingredients and nutrition declaration, in particular of the energy value of alcoholic beverages should be considered.

As one of the stakeholders at European level, Eurocare strongly supports a continuation of the efforts of the Union to address alcohol-related harm. Eurocare members, 60 organisations based across 25 European countries, see the news coming from the Council as very hopeful. The adoption of a new EU Alcohol Strategy would be of invaluable help to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm across Europe. Meanwhile, Eurocare continue to work collaboratively with the Commission, aiming at reducing alcohol-related harm at the individual, community and population level.


Source:The European Alcohol Policy Alliance

10.12.2015

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