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19/02/2008

2nd Meeting of the Task Force on Youth-Specific Aspects of Alcohol

The 2nd meeting of the Youth Task Force took place in Luxembourg on 19- 20 February 2008.

It was composed of a one-day workshop, showcasing NGO and alcohol industry projects, followed by a half-day meeting.

The one-day workshop was organised at the Commission services' suggestion to help focalize and prioritise the work of the Task Force. The purpose of the workshop was to showcase examples of good practice in the five priority areas of the Task Force. The conclusions of the workshop would be translated into practical recommendations for action, with a view to presenting a first set of draft recommendations to the Forum plenary meeting.

The workshop presented 14 “Best Practice” examples from different European countries with different backgrounds. Practices varied from the 'BOB' designated driver campaigns to an example the ways in which special taxation on alco-pops in Germany have helped to curb under-age drinking.

Most of the discussion concerned the problem of evaluation and the grounds on which something may be named ‘best practice.' One of the main conclusions was that supporting harmful action should be unacceptable and that projects should be looked at from that vantage point.

The idea of a platform or ”clearing house” where possible new project ideas and interested sponsors could meet was put forward. This potentially controversial idea was not discussed in depth.

The Task Force will continue its work for 2 or 3 more meetings. Next meeting will be in June 2008.