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European SocMins: steps must be taken to alleviate damage from alcohol

BC, Tallinn, 21.07.2017.Print version
Health ministers of the Party of European Socialists (PES) have called for more cooperation between member states of the European Union to strengthen the fight against the harmful use of alcohol in Europe, informs LETA/BNS.

The PES health ministers gathered in Tallinn on Friday morning on the margins of the informal Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting and on the invitation of Estonian Minister for Health and Labor Jevgeni Ossinovski. "Europe is the heaviest drinking region in 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," Ossinovski said.


"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 EU 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," the minister said.


The health ministers also discussed the priorities of the Estonian EU presidency in the field of healthcare, including the future of e-health.


EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis also participated in the meeting.


The informal meeting of EU health ministers will continue at the Tallinn Creative Hub on Friday and the topics to be discussed is how to decrease the health damage caused by the harmful use of alcohol. The ministers will mainly focus on pan-European aspects which impact the national alcohol policies of the member states.

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