Open European Alcohol and Health Forum

On 19 November 2010, EPHA attended the 3rd Open European Alcohol and Health Forum. Ms Paola Testori-Coggi, Director General of DG SANCO, opened the meeting by re-emphasising one of her proirities in the field: protecting children and young people from the consequences of harmful consumption of alcoholic beverages. She highlighted the increasing spread of binge drinking and the impact of alcohol advertising on young people’s use.

The Open Forum gathered a wide range of stakeholders who exchanged their views on the following issues:

- the social costs of alcohol,
- consumer information, and
- responsible selling and serving.

The variety of participants and topics developed allowed for rich exchanges.

Representatives from the European Commission, as well as from the World Health Organization, gave very informative presentations. Mr Dag Rekve of the WHO presented an update on the Global Alcohol Stategy. At the beginning of 2011, the WHO will launch a consultation targeting NGOs and other stakeholders that are contributing to the Strategy. EPHA will keep you informed about its launch.

Michael Hübel, Health Determinants Unit, DG SANCO, updated participants on the EU Alcohol Strategy process. The second report on its implementation is due in 2012.

European Alcohol and Health Forum

The European Alcohol and Health Forum took place on 18 November 2010. The meeting was chaired by Despina Spanou, Principal Adviser of Paola Testori-Coggi, who also attended it partly. During her speech, Ms Testori-Coggi informed the participants about the second report on the implementation of the EU Alcohol Strategy that will take place in 2012. The Platform being a way to achieve the Strategy’s objectives, it will be evaluated in the same way as the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, i.e. an external evluator will take care of the whole process and members will be involved at different stages, including face-to-face interviews.

In terms of membership, the Platform will remain composed of 64 members but with a few changes. The European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) as well as the European Confederation of Youth Clubs (ECYC) have left the Forum. Active, a European umbrella organisation of youth temperance organisations and the Swedish UNF, a member of Active, have joined.

The 7th European Alcohol and Health Forum began with a presentation by Professor Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Forum’s Science Group, on its work on alcohol-related harm and the workplace. During his intervention, Professor Gilmore emphasised that research is still missing on the issue.

Representatives from the European Commission’s DG Mobility and Transport, the European Transport Safety Council, as well as the Italian and the Polish Breweries gave presentations on actions that these different structures have put in place to reduce drink-driving.

The rest of the conference provided participants with information on alcohol sponsorship, as well as guidance to retailers to reduce alcohol related harm.

European Alcohol and Health Forum Science Group

The 7th meeting of the Science Group of the European Alcohol and Health Forum took place on 25 October 2010. The minutes of the meeting will be made available on the European Commission website shortly.

5 members have left the Science Group during its mandate. It was decided during the European Alcohol and Health Forum that the 15 current members will continue their work until the end of 2012.

Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action

The Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action met on 14 and 15 September 2010 in Luxembourg.

The first day mainly focused on alcohol and the elderly, with detailed presentations on the EU VINTAGE Project. Member States then were given the opportunity to share national experiences on the issue. The combination of alcohol and illicit drug consumption was tackled during a Commission presentation pertaining to EU policy on illicit drugs.

The second day was dedicated to presentations on the following issues:

- Member States’ alcohol policy developments;
- a Report on the WHO Global Strategy to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol adoption and implementation;
- the next steps of the EU Alcohol Strategy;
- the German Campaign "Alcohol? Know your limit";
- the EU Project "Healthy Nightlife Toolbox";
- the Project on the improvement of access to treatment for people with alcohol and drug-related problems; and
- alcohol-related projects and tenders under the Health Programme,

If you would like to obtain more information on the meeting, the Commission report is available here

For further information

European Union webpage on alcohol

World Health Organization work webpage on alcohol

EPHA related articles

EPHA Open Letter to the President of the European Council on the issue of alcohol

EPHA Alcohol Working Group - September 2010

4th European Alcohol Policy Conference : "From capacity to action"

Alcohol and Health Forum- 11 March 2010

Last modified on February 4 2011.