PES Health ministers: we need stronger EU measures to tackle harmful use of alcohol

21/07/2017

Health ministers TALLIN

Progressive health ministers have called for more cooperation between Member States and at the EU level to deliver efficient policy responses to tackle harmful use of alcohol in Europe.

PES health ministers have met in Tallinn, on the margins of the Informal EPSCO-Health Council meeting, on the invitation of Jevgeni Ossinovski, Chair of the PES network and Estonian minister of labour and health.

Mr. Ossinovski said:

“Europe is the heaviest drinking region of the world with the average consumption level almost twice as high as the world average. In consequence, the harm caused by alcohol is also the highest in the world, whether in the form of numerous alcohol-related health conditions, or as a cost to society caused by crime, violence, reduced ability to work, or harm to children and families.

We need more cooperation and coordination on the issues of alcohol and health as many problems are not easily solved at a national level. These are often exacerbated by cross-border issues, such as online advertising and sales. For our presidency it is of vital importance to increase EU-wide cooperation to develop successful tools to combat the problem of harmful use of alcohol in our societies”.

Ministers also discussed the other priority of the Estonian presidency in the area of health, namely the digital health agenda and e-health, as well as worked on a joint declaration ‘For a Progressive Health Agenda’ that would outline the priorities of PES in the area of public health.

Also in attendance was Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.