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Estonian minister wants joint EU alcohol policy

BC, Tallinn, 31.10.2017.Print version
Estonian Minister of Health and Labor Jevgeni Ossinovski said that the European Union should have a joint alcohol policy that could help prevent damage caused by excessive consumption and the different alcohol policies of member states, writes LETA/BNS.

"It has been seven years since the adoption of the global agreement to minimize damage from alcohol consumption. All countries recognize the principles of it - a good alcohol policy is comprehensive, sustainable and cross-sectoral. In a united Europe - and that is my last and most important standpoint [in today's speech] - this means an alcohol policy on the European Union level," Ossinovski said when opening a pan-European alcohol policy conference in Tallinn on Monday.

"There is no other option for implementing a global strategy in Europe," the minister said, admitting that achieving that goal is a long way away at present.

"But 20 years ago, nobody would also have believed that an European Union tobacco directive would be in effect. But here we are now," Ossinovski said.

The minister justified the need for a joint EU alcohol policy with questions concerning cross-border trade and advertisement, which in today's world cannot be regulated within one country, and also the issue of labelling products that is within the jurisdiction of the European Union.

The two-day conference titled "Cross-Border Aspects in Alcohol Policy - Tackling Harmful Use of Alcohol" began at the Olympia Hotel in Tallinn on Monday, the participants of which include a number of top public health researchers and specialists from the European Commission, the World Health Organization (WHO), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and other organizations.

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