Take decisive action to reduce alcohol related harm across the European Union
Reason for amendment:
Harms related to high levels of alcohol use are a heavy burden on public health, social welfare and economic productivity in the European Union. Europe is the heaviest alcohol consuming region in the world. High levels of alcohol consumtion inhibits upwards social convergence between European regions and EU member states and has significant negative effects on the quality of life in the EU. For example:
• Between 5 and 9 million children in the EU live in families where alcohol is abused.
• Alcohol is the third biggest cause of preventable death and disease in Europe, and is a risk factor for over 60 chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and liver disease. It is also linked to obesity. Alcohol is the leading risk factor for ill-health and premature death for those aged 25 to 59, the core of Europe’s working age population.
• The financial costs of alcohol-related harm are colossal – up to €155.8 billion a year, according to figures used by the European Commission
• 60% of EU citizens surveyed in the RARHA SEAS study reported being harmed due to others’ drinking in the past 12 months. 20% reported serious harm such as being harmed physically, getting in a serious argument, being driven by a drunken driver or being involved in a traffic accident related to drunk driving.
• There are large differences between EU member states when it comes to alcohol related harm. For example, reported serious harm was over 40% in Lithuania and around 10% in Sweden, Austria and Hungary.
Example of concrete actions that can be taken:
• Renewed EU alcohol strategy
• Higher EU minimum excise duties on alcoholic beverages
• Ban on alcohol commercials during hours of peak television viewing by minors
• Stronger action on drink driving throughout the EU
• Lower the levels of alcohol that can be transported between member states by private individuals without paying excise duty in the country of entry
• Ensure that alcoholic beverages are not exempted from nutritional or content labelling