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Binge drinking, minimum pricing and rules on advertising: Lords to investigate EU alcohol strategy

The House of Lords Home Affairs, Health and Education EU Sub-Committee has today invited contributions to its new inquiry, which will consider what the content of the next European Union Alcohol Strategy should be.  

Chairman of the Committee, Baroness Prashar, said:

The European Commission proposed the first Alcohol Strategy in October 2006. It was designed to help EU Member States to reduce alcohol-related illnesses and diseases amongst their citizens, and identified five priority themes to concentrate actions on for the next six years. These were: protecting young people, including children and the unborn child; reducing injuries and deaths from alcohol-related road accidents; preventing alcohol-related harm among adults and reducing the negative impact in workplaces; educating people and raising awareness of the impact and dangers of alcohol abuse; and developing and maintaining a record of similar cases across the EU.

“With the last Strategy having finished in 2012, thoughts are now turning to drafting a new one, expected to run from 2016-2022.

We want to investigate how successful the current Strategy has been at achieving its aims and, in light of this, make suggestions about the content of the new Strategy and how it might be more effective.

“Therefore, I would encourage anyone with the relevant experience or expertise to contribute to our inquiry.” 

Specific questions the Committee is asking include:

  • Should there even be another EU Alcohol Strategy? If so, what should its focus, content and purpose be?
  • Are the EU's existing alcohol policies in line with existing international frameworks to tackle alcohol abuse, for example, the World Health Organisation (WHO)?
  • Could the Court of Justice of the European Union do more to balance to the aims of the single market with the wishes of individual Member States to promote public health, for example with minimum pricing?
  • Are the mechanisms created in the last strategy for facilitating discussion, cooperation and the exchange of good practice between Member States, industry, civil society organisations and EU institutions, for example, the EU Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) and the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA), still appropriate?

The deadline for submitting written evidence is Friday 19 September 2014.

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