European alcohol policy alliance Eurocare recognized the Estonian presidency's "courage and persistence" that led to the adoption of the Council Conclusions on cross-border aspects in alcohol policy, making another attempt at tackling the abuse of alcohol.
"It is encouraging to see member states take the lead on alcohol policy, and it is equally crucial that all the good work done at the national level is not stopped by potential conflicts with EU Single Market rules. Earlier this autumn, we witnessed public health prevailing over trade interests in the landmark ruling regarding Minimum Unit Pricing of alcohol in Scotland," the alliance said in a press release.
These Council Conclusions clearly show that there is a will to do more to tackle alcohol related harm by member states of the European Union. It remains to be seen whether Juncker's Commission will find a way to actualize these Council Conclusions, the statement reads.
"We could not agree more with member states that if the industry self-regulatory proposal, due by March 2018, is not following EU (Reg) 1169/2011 then a legislative proposal should be adopted and implemented as soon as possible. It is high time for European consumers to finally be told what is in their drinks. Having heard some disturbing rumors about QR codes, we are very concerned that the industry is taking us all for fools," Mariann Skar, Secretary General of European Alcohol Policy Alliance, said.
"These Council Conclusions prove once again that there is a conflict at the heart of European alcohol policy. A strong need, and a strong ask by the members states is met with hesitancy by the Commission. However, conflict is better than silent denial. We are proud of the Estonian presidency for keeping that conflict alive," Lauri Beekmann, Executive Director of Nordic Alcohol and Drug Policy Network, said.
Eurocare is a network of some 50 voluntary and non-governmental organisations working on the prevention and reduction of alcohol-related harm across Europe. Its mission is to advocate for prevention of alcohol-related harm in Europe through effective evidence-based policy.
Editor: Dario Cavegn