A new EU Alcohol Strategy? - European Union Committee Contents


The House of Lords EU Home Affairs, Health and Education Sub-Committee, chaired by Baroness Prashar, is launching an inquiry into the EU's Alcohol Strategy. Written evidence is sought by 26 September 2014.


The European Commission adopted the first EU Alcohol Strategy in October 2006 with its Communication on "An EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm". The Strategy addressed the adverse health effects related to harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption, and identified five priority themes for action for the period until 2012:

·  Protect young people, children and the unborn child;

·  Reduce injuries and death from alcohol related road accidents;

·  Prevent alcohol related harm among adults and reduce the negative impact on the workplace;

·  Inform, educate and raise awareness on the impact of harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption, and on appropriate consumption patterns;

·  Develop and maintain a common evidence base at EU level.

Rationale for the inquiry

The inquiry takes place at the time of the gestation of the next Alcohol Strategy (2016-2022) which will replace the current Strategy. The aim of the inquiry is to consider: (i) how successful the existing Strategy has been in its stated aims, (ii) how the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) has affected EU policies in terms of protecting public health on the one hand as against securing the free movement of alcoholic goods in the internal market on the other and, (iii) developments at the EU Member State and international levels. In the light of this assessment, the inquiry aims to make suggestions about the content of the next EU Alcohol Strategy and how it might be made more effective.

Particular questions raised to which we invite you to respond are as follows:

(1)  Should there be another EU Alcohol Strategy? If so, bearing in mind the wide social and health implications of alcohol consumption, what should the content, focus and purpose of the next Strategy be, with reference to the previous strategy and evaluations thereof?

(2)  Are the EU's alcohol policies underpinned by a sound scientific base?

(3)  Are the EU's alcohol policies in line with existing international frameworks to tackle alcohol misuse, for example the World Health Organisation (WHO)?

(4)  Are the mechanisms created in the last strategy for facilitating discussion, cooperation and the exchange of good practice between Member States, industry, civil society organisations and EU institutions, for example, the EU Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) and the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA), still appropriate?

(5)  Is the EU funding allocated to alcohol-related research and harm reduction programmes sufficient to achieve the stated aims?[265]

(6)  Do EU policies on the taxation of alcohol and the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) balance successfully the aims of the single market with the wishes of the individual EU Member States to promote public health within their borders, for example through minimum pricing?

265   Funding for alcohol-related research under the EU's seventh research programme (FP7) from 2007 to mid-2012 was 49 million euro, which represented less than one per cent of the FP7 Programme's budget for health. Back

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2015