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#TTIPLeaks and Bridging the gap between trade and public health

EPHA believes that greater transparency is vital to ensure proper democratic and public debate about the impact of trade policy on population health, following Greenpeace Netherlands’ release of classified TTIP negotiating documents By Zoltán Massay-Kosubek, @EU_ZMK, Policy Coordinator for Healthy Trade and Health Equity, EPHA EPHA believes that greater transparency is vital to ensure proper democratic and public debate about the impact of trade policy on population health, (...)

European Court of Justice’s public health day

On 23 December, a most press-unfriendly date, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered one ruling and three opinions key to public health. Worthy of mention are the Opinions by Advocate General Kokott on three tobacco cases supporting the legality of the Tobacco Products Directive. The opinions conclude that the Directive’s packaging and labeling requirements are proportionate, that the ban on menthol cigarettes should be upheld and that the special rules introduced for (...)

Excess: let’s not blame Christmas, but act on food and drink environments

Christmas and New Year: two great occasions to contemplate about excess. But not the type of excess that may once in a while accompany some memorable event. Rather, what deserves revision is the structural excess that our food and drink environments promote. Fortunately, this year ends with signs of hope. Limiting the alcohol industry The Irish “Public Health Alcohol Bill”, introduced on 9 December, is a groundbreaking piece of legislation which reads much like a Christmas (...)

WHO European Health Report 2015:Towards a new public health metric

In their latest annual report on the state of Europe’s health, the WHO singles out alcohol, tobacco and obesity as Europe’s main public health concerns and calls for "well-being" to be a public health indicator. There is some good news in WHO’s European Health Report 2015: Europe appears to be on track in reducing premature mortality from the four main chronic diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, respiratory diseases). [1] Total alcohol consumption (...)

[EPHA Position] How to include Public Health into the EU Trade Policy Strategy?

The objective of the European Public Health Community is to protect and promote public health by ensuring policy and regulatory space for governments and the EU by incorporating flexibility: Improved well-being of people should be the primary objective of EU policies, and EU trade policy is regarded as a tool to achieve a number of public interest objectives, including, protection of public health, the environment and consumer interests. - EPHA Position How to include Public Health into (...)

MEPs ask Juncker and Timmermans to act on alcohol

Four MEPs send a letter to European Commission President Juncker and Vice-President Timmermans urging them to make progress on a comprehensive EU alcohol policy and questioning the continuation of the Alcohol and Health Forum without public health groups. On Friday 27 July four MEPS - Glennis Willmott, Matthias Groote, Jytte Guteland and Anna Hedh - sent a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker and Frans Timmermans, with Vytenis Andriukaitis in cc, reiterating the need for a comprehensive EU (...)
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Council of the EU supports NGOs in calling for alcohol policy

On 2 June, nearly all NGOs resigned from the European Alcohol and Health Forum as patience with the lack of effective action ran out. The resignation letter to the European Commission outlined different concerns, including the unwillingness to introduce a new alcohol policy and the forum’s lack of impact on public health. In the words of Nina Renshaw, EPHA Secretary General, the forum amounted to no more than a "free PR front" for the industry. Now the Council of the EU also demands (...)

[Press Release] NGOs Resign from Alcohol and Health Forum as Commission Ignores Member State and European Parliament Calls for Alcohol Strategy

2nd June - Public Health NGOs have today resigned from the EU Alcohol and Health Forum, following the announcement by Commissioner Andriukaitis that he has no plans to establish a new EU Alcohol Strategy . The Commissioner’s decision goes against demands from Member States and the European Parliament for a new comprehensive Strategy to tackle alcohol harm in Europe. Membership of the Forum, which is chaired by DG Sante, includes drinks industry representatives and public health NGOs. (...)

[Press statement] OECD joins European Parliament and Ministers in calling for new alcohol policies

12 May, Brussels - Today, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published its new report ‘Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use: Economics and Public Health Policy’, which analyses major trends in alcohol consumption in OECD countries. Following the statement on alcohol policy from EU Health Ministers and the European Parliament’s resolution calling for a new EU Alcohol Strategy on 21 and 29 April, pressure is mounting on the European Commission to (...)

[Joint press statement] European Parliament Resolution calls for new EU Alcohol Strategy

29 April, Brussels - Today, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a Resolution calling on the European Commission to present a new EU Alcohol Strategy to tackle health harm for 2016-2022. The clear message from MEPs comes just a week after EU Health Ministers meeting in Riga called on the Commission (1) to take action on the health impacts of alcohol. Both MEPs and Ministers have criticized the Commission for failing to update the previous EU Alcohol Strategy which expired in 2012. (...)

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