Health Ministers in Riga agree on the need for common EU alcohol policies

21 april 2015

On 20-21 April the informal meeting of Health Ministers and Heads of Delegation from the European Union, European Economic Area and European Union candidate countries took place in Riga to discuss factors affecting public health.

The Health Ministers and Heads of Delegation discussed the need for a new policy framework for reducing alcohol-related harm, and the EU’s role in the creation of a general alcohol standard for the international market and in the harmonization of national policies.

Latvian Health Minister Guntis Belēvičs stressed: "Healthcare issues in the European Union are certainly a national competence. At the same time, it is our duty and challenge to jointly strengthen and harmonize key factors affecting public health. Better health and quality of life is the common goal to be achieved by European countries, which can set an example for the rest of the world."

The Health Ministers confirmed that the five EU Alcohol Strategy priorities — pricing and tax measures, marketing and restrictions on the availability of alcoholic beverages, legal measures to reduce drink driving, and the raising of public awareness — are still very important. In order to achieve the objectives set out in the global plan to reduce non-infectious diseases on cutting alcohol-related harm by 10%, it is important to continue to work together.


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