On September 10, the UK Government issued its response to the House of Lords’ report on the EU Alcohol Strategy.
Civil society organizations have welcomed the UK Government’s commitment and detailed opinion on how to address alcohol harm at the European level. Some of the key points outlined in the response include:
- A commitment to support the Scottish Government’s attempt to introduce minimum unit pricing, in the face of a legal challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association
- A call for the EU tax regulations to be adjusted for wine and cider, to incentivise the production of lower strength products
- An agreement that mandatory calorie labelling on alcohol products would provide useful information to consumers
- Criticism of the European Commission for not acting on recommendations to strengthen Member State involvement in alcohol policy via the Committee for National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA)
Katherine Brown, Director of IAS (UK) commented:
This is a clear call for greater action from the European Commission to support Member States in protecting the health and wellbeing of their citizens.
It is not acceptable that the EU Alcohol Strategy has been left to expire in the face of repeated requests from the European Parliament and Member States. We hope this response from the UK Government will encourage the Commission to move forward in developing a new alcohol strategy as a matter of urgency.