Eleven European Union member countries have reportedly opposed Ireland’s draft alcohol bill.
The proposed Public Health Alcohol Bill includes provisions to ban broadcasting of alcohol ads before 9 PM local time, labels with calorie counts and health warnings, as well as prevention of the sale of extremely cheap alcohol.
The EU countries that opposed the draft public health legislation are France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Spain – all countries where the respective governments have tight links to the alcohol industry. Ireland’s Public Health Alcohol Bill was approved in December 2015 and is currently undergoing a second stage of perusal in Ireland’s Senate.
The countries, some of which are Europe’s largest beer and wine producers, as well as the European Commission, are worried that the bill will restrict free trade. It is understood that Ireland is required to submit an individual response to each member state on the issue by the end of July 2016.
Ireland’s Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General is reportedly considering the raised objections. But the Irish government is planning to go ahead with the legislation despite the scale of opposition.