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15/04/2014

14th Plenary meeting of the European Alcohol and Health Forum

The 14th plenary meeting of the European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) took place on 9 April 2014in Brussels.

It was chaired by John F. Ryan, Acting Director for Public Health, Directorate General for Health and Consumers.

The main focus of the meeting were:

  • updates from the Commission, including information on the Action Plan on youth and on heavy episodic drinking (binge drinking) and the monitoring of EAHF commitments;
  • research and funding concerning alcohol related harm.

New members have joined the Forum, among them member or Alcohol Policy Youth Network (which is Eurocare member) - No Excuse Slovenia.

The European Commission (EC) has presented update on the development of the EU Alcohol Action Plan; Eurocare has reiterated its concerns regarding the process undertaken. Eurocare acknowledges the initiative of making the process inclusive and transparent. However, it considers that circulating the draft Action Plan among the European Alcohol and Health Forum members could incline that Forum has some influence over policy direction of the draft Action Plan.

A consultancy commissioned by the EC has presented report on the mapping of the health related information on alcoholic beverages. The preliminary findings have shown limited presence of health messages on alcoholic beverages and underlined a divergence in type and form of the messages. Detailed discussion will take place at the next EAHF meeting.

The EAHF also examined the results of the assessment of commitments, it was agreed that a working group on the issue will be established. The European Commission has underlined that only 29 out of 60 Forum members have active commitment. However, Eurocare has pointed out that as it understood the EU Alcohol Strategy was designed for period 2006- 2012 and therefore its commitments have finished in 2012.

The next EAHF meeting will take place on 11th November and some of the issues covered will be labelling and research.

To read the European Commission summary of the EAHF meeting and presentations from the meeting please visit:http://ec.europa.eu/health/alcohol/events/ev_20140409_en.htm