"Perfect timing for push alcohol issue in EU"
Swedish EU-presidency is a good opportunity to push for reducing the harm caused by alcohol in Europe. It was established at an international alcohol conference in Stockholm.
The network Alcohol Policy Network met in June at Ersta conference centre in Stockholm. The Swedish temperance movement IOGT-NTO hosted the meeting, which brought together from 25 countries.
The network for researchers, policy makers and people from non-profit organizations was formed 2004 to share knowledge and disseminate the experience of alcohol prevention and harm reduction methods.
Europe produces more alcohol and has the highest consumption in the world.
- The current European model is not something that should be exported to the rest of the world, but there are now unique opportunities to pursue the line that alcohol is not an ordinary commodity, said Sven-Olov Carlsson, President of IOGT-NTO, at the meeting.
Sweden held the presidency in 2001 when it was decided that it would develop an alcohol strategy and now that it has come full circle is time to review and tighten it. Furthermore new opportunities are open as both the EU Commission and Parliament will have a lot of new people.
Alcoholexpert Peter Anderson, a driving force in the Alcohol Policy Network, also believes that there is now a chance to push for more restrictive alcohol policies.
- Firstly, during the Swedish Presidency of the EU, when Sweden is prepared to give priority to the issue and also to present the issue before the first global alcohol strategy which WHO is expected to adopt next year, he said to Drugnews, and suggested to put everything else aside.
Secretary of State Ragnwi Marcelind from the Ministry of social welfare said that the government, during the during next six months would try to highlight the alcohol issue. Both at a ministerial meeting in Jönköping and at two conferences of experts, in the EURO and with WHO in Stockholm in September.
There is a focus on the protection of the unborn child, as well as alcohol and the young and the elderly, a no alcohol in work policy and stricter rules on advertising.
- I share your commitment to reduce alcohol consumption and injuries in the Union and Sweden will be actively updating the alcohol strategy, said mrs Ragnwi Marcelind at the conference.
Publicerad: 2009-07-06 17:15