The EU Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF), which aims to tackle alcohol-related harm, should come to an end because its stakeholders have not been able to find common ground, the outgoing EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis has said.
The European spirits industry has called on Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner-designate for health, to revive the European Alcohol and Health Forum, which has been inactive since 2015 after twenty public health NGOs decided to pull out.
The European spirits industry launched a new web portal on Tuesday (12 March) to provide more consumer information on liquors and other distillates. However, it is still unclear whether such initiatives are in line with the European Commission's objectives.
A group of MEPs has called on the European Commission to turn down an industry proposal on alcohol labelling, claiming that alcoholic beverages should no longer enjoy a preferential regime compared to other foodstuffs.
The alcohol industry presented on 12 March their self-regulatory proposal on labelling, focusing on “flexibility” for wine, beer, spirits and cider. Alcohol makers will be free to decide whether to place information on the label, online or both.
Consumer needs and expectations should be the main drivers in defining alcohol labelling, a European Commission spokesperson told EURACTIV.com when asked about the effectiveness of online labelling, an option the alcohol industry wants to introduce.
It takes willingness from all sides in order to make the EU's Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) effective, a European Commission official has said, urging businesses and health NGOs to return to the discussion table.
As part of the “Responsible Party” alcohol prevention programme [See background], Pernod Ricard Sweden has joined forces with the Erasmus Students Network (ESN) to implement a unique “Sea Battle” project.
Makers of spirits and beer are exploring self-regulatory solutions to show consumers the ingredients contained in the alcohol they drink. However, they find the Commission's timeline "too tight" and fear mandatory rules will eventually be imposed on them.
Following a two-year delay, the European Commission presented its proposal on alcohol information on Monday (13 March), giving the alcoholic beverages industry an additional year to come up with a “self-regulatory” proposal.
The Erasmus Student Network has been running a campaign across Europe, supported by French spirits maker Pernod Ricard, with the aim of convincing students to adopt a “responsible” stance towards alcohol when going out to party.