Policy on Alcohol (Marketing): Still on the agenda of the European CommissionSince the end of 2006’ EU Alcohol Strategy it has been relatively silent on the front of alcohol policy on a European level. Earlier this month however a committee of the European Commission discussed a European Action plan on alcohol, while also preparing for a possible follow up of the EU Alcohol Strategy.

While originally ended in 2012, the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA) in their meeting earlier this month talked about renewing the 2006 EU Alcohol Strategy. While discussing the progress made by the CNAPA drafting group in drafting an Action Plan on youth and on heavy episodic drinking, members observed that this action plan will provide a reference for implementing, on a voluntary basis, certain regulations but “it cannot be considered as a substitute to a new consolidated EU strategy to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm…”

It was reaffirmed by these members that an EU strategy is a priority initiative. Thus, the wheels have been set into motion to start a discussion paper to start the preparation and input from CNAPA for a follow up of the 2006 Alcohol Strategy. Belgium, the United Kingdom and Estonia have volunteered to be members of the discussion paper drafting group. A draft version of this discussion paper will be discussed in June, while the final paper would be discussed at a “High Level CNAPA meeting and serve as a CNAPA contribution to the elements which will be examined by the Commission in view of its reflexion on the follow-up to the 2006 Strategy.”

Meanwhile though, later this year should see the launch of the EU Action Plan on youth and on heavy episodic drinking, in which limiting the exposure of youth to alcohol marketing and advertising is one area of action among the following others:

-Reduce heavy episodic drinking (binge drinking)
-Ensure enforcement of restrictions on availability for youth
-Protect the unborn child
-Ensure a healthy and safe environment for children and young people
-Monitoring and increased research

Source: Eurocare.org 03/10/14

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