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2014: a year for alcohol action

New year greetings from Eurocare president, Tiziana Codenotti, who gives a brief overview of the developments in 2014:

First of all, I want to wish you all a happy new year! As president of the European Alcohol Policy Alliance, Eurocare, I look forward to a lot of exciting developments on alcohol policies the coming year, and would like to share some of the upcoming events and news with you in this letter.

I am proud to announce that Eurocare will be arranging the 6th European Alcohol Policy Conference in Brussels, 27-28 November. The conference will have a high level participation from several committed Member States, and together with Members States and experts, the conference will go in depth on some key policy areas. The registration for the conference will open this spring, and an early bird fee will be available for the first months.

Eurocare is very happy to see developments on alcohol policies at the EU level, with several initiatives from the European Commission together with Member States. One of the initiatives is the Joint Action on Reducing Alcohol Related Harm (RARHA), which has its kick off meeting on the 31 January. RARHA, funded by the European Union under the second EU Health Programme, is a 3 years action aiming at supporting Member States to take forward work on common priorities in line with the EU Alcohol Strategy and strengthen Member States’ capacity to address and reduce the harm associated with alcohol. Eurocare is a committed and proud partner to RARHA. The joint action will mobilise Member States to take-up of common survey methodology to obtain comparable data for monitoring progress in reducing alcohol related harm at national and EU level and for benchmarking national developments against wider trends.

Another important initiative from the European Commission is the Action Plan on Alcohol, announced autumn 2013 and will be launched later in 2014. Eurocare has been pushing for a renewal of the EU Alcohol Strategy, and after some time with uncertainty, we are now expecting some concrete actions on EU level with the Action Plan. Eurocare has together with other NGOs made a document addressing the NGO recommendations for an EU Action Plan, which can be found on our webpage.

There are also other ongoing projects on alcohol at the European level. The Alcohol Policy Youth Network, APYN, is conducting a Let It hAPYN-project in which Eurocare is an active partner. The main aim of this project is to reach a better overview of good and bad practices of alcohol intervention programmes that are happening in youth organisations or that are applicable to youth organisations in Europe.

The project and activities listed above are only some of all which will happen in 2014. Several Member States have very interesting developments and there are other seminars and conferences coming up. As president of Eurocare, I am very happy and proud to see all these activities at European level. I think and hope 2014 will be a promising and exciting year for alcohol policies, and want to wish you all a very productive and active 2014!

Tiziana Codenotti,
President of Eurocare