European Alcoho... / Media Centre / Press Releases / NGOs call on European policy-makers to launch a new EU Alcohol Strategy by 2013  


NGOs call on European policy-makers to launch a new EU Alcohol Strategy by 2013

On the 17th November, Member State representatives will meet at a critical meeting of the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action as the future of the EU Alcohol Strategy remains undecided.

87 Health and social NGOs from across Europe are therefore joining forces today to call on European governments and the European Commission to develop a Strategy for the European Union before the current initiative ends next year.

The European Union recently made firm commitments to tackle Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) at the UN Summit on NCDs in September and a specific commitment to work on the main determinants of health. Alcohol is a health determinant like no other.

It is the second most avoidable health risk after tobacco and the world’s number one risk factor for ill-health and premature death amongst the 25-59 year old age group, a core of the working age population. Europe is the heaviest drinking region of the world.

Consumption levels in some European countries are around 2.5 times higher than the global average (WHO 2009). Alarmingly 43% of 15-16 year old European students report heavy binge drinking (ESPAD 2007) and alcohol is the single biggest cause of death among young men aged 16 to 24. Alcohol abuse is one of the 4 risk factors for developing NCDs such as cancer (which affects 1 in 3 Europeans) and cardiovascular disease.

‘Alcohol use is a problem across Europe which requires a comprehensive, targeted and action oriented response. The European Commission has an Alcohol Strategy which is due to come to a close next year, but Europe is still the heaviest drinking region in the world. It is our shared European problem that needs a collective solution’ emphasised Mariann Skar (European Alcohol Policy Alliance Secretary General)

Notes to the the Editor:

Link to the Call for a comprehensive alcohol policy in the European Union 2013-2020

To download this press release: NGOs call on European policy-makers to launch a new EU Alcohol Strategy by 2013

To download the press release in Spanish: Manifiesto de las ONG para que los políticos europeos lancen una nueva estrategia de la Unión Europea sobre el alcohol para el 2013

To download the press release in French: Communiqué de presse

List of Signatories

European organisations

1. Active- sobriety, friendship and peace (Active)
2. Alcohol Policy Youth Network (APYN)
3. Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union (COFACE)
4. Europe Against Drugs (EURAD)
5. Eurochild
6. European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare)
7. European Association for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion (Eurosafe)
8. European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL)
9. European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)
10. European Federation of Older Persons (EURAG)
11. European Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Alliance (EUFASD)
12. Mental Health Europe (MHE)
13. European Heart Network (EHN)
14. EuroHealthNet
15. European Midwives Association (EMA)
16. European Mutual Help Network for Alcohol Related Problems (EMNA)
17. European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)
18. European Public Health Association- Section on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion (EUPHA)
19. European Youth Forum (YFJ)
20. International Council on Social Welfare- European region
22. Nordic Alcohol and Drug Policy Network (NorDan, International)
23. The Associations of European Cancer Leagues (ECL)
24. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts- European region

International organisations

24. International Blue Cross (International)
25. IOGT International (International)
26. International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (International)

National organisations

27. Vereniging voor Alcohol-en Andere Drugproblemen (VAD, Belgium)
28. Centre de Recherche et d'Information des Organisations de Consommateurs (Belgium)
29. Foundation Horizonti 21 (Bulgaria)
30. Alkoholpolitisk Landsråd (Danish Alcohol Policy Network, Denmark)
31. NGO Fontana (Denmark)
32. Estonian Temperance Union (AVE, Estonia)
33. Estonian Medical Association (Estonia)
34. Estonian Lung Association (Estonia)
35. Finish Health Association (Finland)
36. Assocation Nationale de Prevention en Alcoologie et Addictologie (France)
37. Le Mouvement Vie Libre (France)
38. Deutsche Hauptstelle für Suchtfragen (DHS, Germany)
39. Juvente (Germany)
40. Oasis (Greece)
41. Società Italiana di Alcologia (Italy)
42. Associazione Italiana Dei Club Alcologici Territoriali (Italy)
43. Veneto Orientale (Italy)
44. Alcohol Action Ireland (Ireland)
45. National Youth Council of Ireland (Ireland)
46. Alcohol Forum (Ireland)
47. Agapao (Lithuania)
48. Lithuanian National Tobacco and Alcohol Control Coalition (Lithuania)
49. Lithuanian National Consumer Federation (Lithuania)
50. Lithuanian Health Psychology Society (Lithuania)
51. Mental Health Initiative (Lithuania)
52. Parents Forum of Lithuania (Lithuania)
53. Kaunas drug abuse help centre for Youth (Lithuania)
54. Lithuanian medical students' association (Lithuania)
55. Scientific society of academic youth "Modusas" (Lithuania)
56. Lithuania Pupil's Parliament (Lithuania)
57. STAP (Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy, the Netherlands)
58. Foetaal Alcohol Syndroom Stichting (the Netherlands)
59. ACTIS- Policy Network on Alcohol and Drugs (Norway)
60. Juvente (Norway)
61. IOGT Norway
62. Panstwowa Agencja Rozwiazywania Problemow Alkoholowych (PARPA, Poland)
63. The National Centre for Workplace Health Promotion (Poland)
64. Sociedade Anti-Alcoólica Portuguesa (Portugal)
65. National Institute of Public Health (Slovenia)
66. Institute for Research and Development (UTRIP, Slovenia)
67. No Excuse (Slovenia)
68. Asociacion de Ex-Alcoholicos Españoles (Spain)
69. Socidrogalcohol (Spain)
70. Fundación Salud y Comunidad (Spain)
71. Associació Rauxa (Spain)
72. IOGT-NTO (Sweden)
73. Swedish Academic Temperance Society (Sweden)
74. Sveriges Landsråd för alkohol- och narkotikafrågor (Swedish Council on Alcohol and Drugs, Sweden)
75. Nykterhetsrörelsens Bildningsverksamhet (NBV, Sweden)
76. Sveriges Makalösa Föräldrar (Makalosa, Sweden)
77. Royal College of Physicians (United Kingdom)
78. Royal College of Nursing (United Kingdom)
79. Institute of Alcohol Studies (United Kingdom)
80. Alcohol Concern (United Kingdom)
81. Alcohol Focus Scotland (United Kingdom)
82. Action on Addiction (United Kingdom)
83. Faculty of Public Health (United Kingdom)
84. British Society of Gastroenterology (United Kingdom)
85. National Hear Forum (United Kingdom)
86. Greater Manchester Public Health Unit (United Kingdom)
87. Cheshire and Merseyside Directors of Public Health (United Kingdom)

Source of the figures quoted in the text

WHO, Global Health Risks 2009, retrieved from:
The 2007 ESPAD Report; retrieved from

World Economic Forum (2010) Global risks 2010. Geneva, Retrieved from:

Gaining Health – The European Strategy for Prevention and Control of Non-communicable diseases. WHO, EUR/RC56/8+EUR/RC56/Conf.doc/3 30th June 2006

European Heart Network, European cardiovascular disease statistics, 2008

The Committee for National Alcohol Policy and Action is composed of representatives from the national governments, who share information, knowledge and good practice on reducing harmful alcohol consumption.

For more information please contact:

European Alcohol Policy Alliance
Mariann Skar Secretary General
Tel: +32 (0)2 736 05 72 or
GSM: +32 (0) 474 830 041