The Oslo Declaration – a time for united action on Alcohol in the EU

EPHA joins more than 80 International, European, and National civil society organisations and the World Health Organization in supporting the Oslo Declaration, which calls for urgent policy action to address alcohol-related harm 

Florence Berteletti, Secretary-General of the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare), at its launch said the Declaration is “a major step forward in combating harm caused by alcohol, showing the unity and resolve of those fighting for the broad public interest”.   

Alcohol-related harm is a major risk factor contributing to the burden on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), the 21st century’s greatest threat to health, well-being, and prosperity. With Europe being the heaviest alcohol-consuming region in the world, the burden of alcohol-related harm to individuals, families, communities, and society is enormous. The time has come for concerted action, therefore EPHA fully supports the aspirations in the Oslo Declaration to reduce alcohol harm in an evidence-based manner. 

The declaration has seven concrete policy recommendations which include calls for:

  1. National governments and the EU should regulate alcohol based on the WHO’s evidence-based Global Alcohol Action Plan to achieve its ambitious targets by 2030;
  2. National governments should cooperate to implement the evidence-based WHO Best Buys and SAFER recommendations focused on the price, availability, and marketing of alcohol;
  3. EU level regulation should reflect public support for mandatory ingredients, nutrition declarations and warning labels on alcohol products, to empower properly informed consumer decisions;
  4. National governments and the EU should make sure that health policy-making processes are protected from alcohol industry interference;
  5. National governments should tax alcohol products related to alcohol content. This should be index-linked and increased regularly in line with economic and health indicators;  
  6. National governments should restrict or ban the marketing exposure of alcohol products, particularly to young people and children and other vulnerable groups; 
  7. Governments should recognise and support the pivotal role of civil society organisations in preventing and reducing alcohol harm. 

Despite numerous commitments by the EU and its Member States on health for citizens, existing gaps indicate the need for concrete measures such as addressing the NCD risk factors to holistically prevent and control NCDs.  

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