Twenty public health organisations have resigned from the European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF), a stakeholder platform, to protest against the European Commission's refusal to submit a new alcohol strategy.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU's Health and Food Safety Commissioner, said that the executive has no intention of submitting a new strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm in Europe, suggesting that the issue will be tackled as part of a broad range of "risk factors" affecting chronic diseases.
EXCLUSIVE / The European Parliament's legislative vacuum is frustrating both national and European politicians. While MEPs are forced to vote on hollow resolutions, France has lodged a complaint with the President Martin Schulz. EurActiv France reports .
SPECIAL REPORT / Members of the European Parliament, backed by health NGOs and the alcohol industry, are asking the European Commission to propose a new alcohol strategy, saying it should depart from the current one.
SPECIAL REPORT / New EU rules on nutrition labelling for food and drinks entered into force a few months ago. But whether or not alcoholic beverages will also have to carry them in the future is still unclear. A Commission report on the issue, due in December last year, is yet to be published.
While the EU must act to combat alcohol-related harm, any new initiative by the European Commission should focus on measures within its powers, such as taxation and labelling, the UK's House of Lords has said in a report published Friday (6 March).
Health advocates, including doctors and nurses from Scotland and across Europe, find common cause with Scottish alcohol industry representatives in supporting the Scottish Government's efforts to implement its Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) legislation. They call for global alcohol producers to drop their legal challenges to this policy that will save hundreds of lives of people in Scotland every year.
The European Commission has not given a satisfactory reason for why the review of the Alcohol Strategy wasn't published last year, as promised, says MEP Glenis Willmott. She would like the next version to look into minimum pricing, include more research and health recommendations.
Though the Scottish government initiative to put a minimum unit pricing (MUP) on alcohol has been referred to the European Court of Justice, some members of Scotland's alcohol industry are backing the initiative to tackle alcohol harm in the country.
Instead of addressing the harm alcohol inflicts to public health, social fabric, economic productivity and even democracy abroad, EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht chooses to praise its trade benefits, writes Sven-Olov Carlsson.
While policymakers worry about young people's drinking habits, the spirits industry has proposed that separate approaches are required to combat alcohol abuse, at a local level, due to the different drinking cultures in the 28 EU member states.
More than 3 million people died from using alcohol in 2012, for reasons ranging from cancer to violence, the World Health Organisation said on Monday (12 May), as it called on governments to do more to limit the damage.
For an industry body, passing on the message that consumers may want to buy less of your product may seem suicidal. Yet this is what SpiritsEurope is attempting to do with the concept of “responsible drinking”.
Whiskey, Gin or Cognac bring “lots of joy and happiness” to those who drink them, says Paul Skehan, the boss of SpiritsEurope. But he also admits spirits have “a double side to them” and worries about attempts to overtax a sector whose exports are booming, especially in Asia.