Dutch State Secretary stops Alcohol Table

12 October 2022

Today, Dutch State Secretary for Health Maarten van Ooijen sent a letter to Parliament informing the MPs that the Alcohol Table of the National Prevention Agreement will be discontinued. At the Alcohol Table, all stakeholders in the Netherlands (alcohol industry, retailers, catering, students, local governments, health organizations et cetera) discussed the future of alcohol policy and the necessary measures to achieve the targets set in the National Prevention Agreement.

In his letter, Van Ooijen writes that the consultations at the Alcohol Table have not led to the necessary and effective measures needed to protect public health. And also that the urgency to reduce alcohol harm is great and requires a new active phase.

"In essence, the difference in standpoints and interests between, say, the alcohol producers and health organisations is too great to be bridged", Van Ooijen told MPs in his letter. He believes stopping the Alcohol Table is disappointing, but inevitable.

The State Secretary remains in consultation with all Prevention Agreement partners. All parties to the Alcohol Table have informed Van Ooijen that they remain individually committed to the goals of the Prevention Agreement.

Wim van Dalen, director of the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP: "The failed Alcohol Table in the Netherlands has confirmed what was already known from experiences in other European countries: involving the alcohol industry in the consultation on alcohol policy does not take us any further and at least ensures postponing necessary measures."



Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
P.O. Box 9769
3506 GT Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30-6565041
F: +31 (0)30-6565043