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Minister: Proposal coming to reduce amount of alcohol legally taken across EU borders

An Alko1000 alcohol store on the Latvian side of the border.
An Alko1000 alcohol store on the Latvian side of the border. Source: (Mailiis Ollino)

Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) is planning to propose to EU members a reduction of the amounts of alcohol that can legally be taken across union borders. Ossinovski intends to submit such a proposal in the course of Estonia's upcoming EU presidency.

Ossinovski was planning to work with Finance Minister Sven Sester (IRL) to convince European Union members to reduce the allowed amount of alcoholic beverages to be taken across the border. The demand is to be part of Estonia’s program during its upcoming 2017 EU council presidency.

As the allowed amounts of alcohol an individual can take across national borders are regulated by the European Union across all of its territory, the agreement of all 28 member states is necessary to reduce them. As the EU’s alcohol policy hadn’t been made stricter in this regard in quite some time, Ossinovski considered the proposal reasonable, daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote on Thursday.

If the European Commission were to work out such a change in the union’s alcohol policy, this would take years, Ossinovski argued. Instead, he intends to push the issue during Estonia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union.

According to Ossinovski, the member states’ health ministers had demanded such a new strategy from the commission for a long time already, but so far it has refused to come up with a new policy.

As Päevaleht wrote, the minister didn’t want to speculate what future maximum amounts would eventually be. “In the end this will still have to be a political compromise,” Ossinovski was quoted.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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