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Eurocare Updates


Eurocare Seminar in the Parliament: An Alcohol Strategy for Europe?

In January, Eurocare held a seminar in the European Parliament where representatives from the Commission, the European Parliament, the World Health Organisation and the Public Health Community met to analyse the virtues and shortcomings of the new EU Alcohol Strategy that was published by the Commission in October last year.


A Health Strategy for the European Union

Although most competence for action in the field of health is held by Member States, the EU has the responsibility, set out in article 152 of the EC Treaty, to undertake certain actions which complement the work done by Member States, for example in relation to cross border health threats, patient mobility, and reducing health inequalities.

The European Commission is currently developing a new Health Strategy which it aims to adopt in summer 2007. This Strategy aims to provide, an overarching strategic framework spanning core issues in health as well as health in all policies and global health issues. The Strategy aims to set clear objectives to guide future work on health at the European level, and to put in place implementation mechanisms to achieve those objectives, working in partnership with Member States.

In order to draft the Strategy, the European Commission launched a consultation on how to prioritise the actions. Specific indicators for performance and tools that are most appropriate to attain the objectives included in the strategy were also in the questionnaire


European Parliament resolution on European Road Safety Action Programme - mid-term review

The European Parliament adopted in 18 January 2007 a resolution on the European Road Safety Action Programme.


2nd Eurocare Bridging the Gap Conference in Helsinki: Alcohol Experts Bridging Gaps

The Eurocare Bridging the Gap conference, held in Helsinki in November, brought together alcohol experts, researchers, NGOs, policy makers and program implementers from across Europe. The common interest of the conference guests was to move forward on the alcohol agenda.


Call for an EU-wide zero alcohol limit for new and professional commercial drivers

In a bid to tackle drink-driving, members of the Parliament's Transport Committee attempted to pass a report recommending that the Commission propose an EU-wide upper limit of 0.5% for blood alcohol levels for all drivers and 0,2% for young drivers. A number of MEPs also suggested a zero alcohol limit for new drivers and professional drivers involved in passenger transport. But, these amendments were rejected in a vote on 22 November 2006.


UK – Alcohol risk to babies

A new study has revealed that up to 18,000 British babies a year are born damaged because their mothers drank in pregnancy. This figure represents three per cent of all births what has prompted calls for legislation to persuade mums-to-be not to drink.


EU Alcohol Strategy

On 30 November, the Council of the EU adopted its conclusions on the EU strategy to support Member States in combating alcohol-related harm that the European Commission released on October 24th this year.


Duty-free allowances for travel from third countries

On 28 November, The Ministers of finances of the EU reached political agreement on a proposal regarding duty-free allowances on goods carried by persons entering the European Union from third countries.


European Court of Justice ruling on excise duties

Luxembourg, 23 November. The European Court of justice has ruled that only products acquired by private individuals for their own use and transported personally by the private individual that purchased them are exempt from excise duty in the member state of importation.


EU finance chiefs postpone the decision on alcohol tax hike

On Tuesday 13 November, the EU Finance Ministers failed to agree to the European Commission's proposal to raise the minimum rates of excise duty on alcohol.

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