Alcohol related harm is a major public health concern in the EU accountable for over 7% of all ill health and early deaths. Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the long term risk of certain heart conditions, liver disease and cancers, and frequent consumption of large quantities can lead to dependence.

EU countries have the main responsibility for their national alcohol policy. The implementation of the 2006 EU alcohol strategy to support them in reducing alcohol related harm was assessed in 2009 and 2013.

Trends and developments in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm in EU are monitored by the European Information System on Alcohol and Health (EUSAH). EUSAH is maintained through cooperation between the European Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO) within the framework of the EU Public Health Programmes. Issued regularly within the EC-WHO cooperation framework, the country profiles give overview of the situation on alcohol and health in the individual EU countries.

Coordination at EU level

The Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA) plays a major role in, facilitating cooperation and coordination between EU countries, and contributing to further policy development.

Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA)

The Committee is composed of national delegates appointed by their EU countries and meets twice per year in Luxembourg. Its main objectives are sharing best practices, and aiming to achieve the broadest possible consensus and convergence of national alcohol policies within the EU.

EU Alcohol and Health Forum

The European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) is a platform where entities active at European level can compare approaches and act to tackle harmful levels of alcohol consumption.

Promotion and support

The Commission's Public Health Programme funds projects and other initiatives addressing alcohol related harm. The Joint Action on Reducing Alcohol Related Harm (JA RARHA), was a 3-year action (2014-2016) aiming at supporting EU countries to reduce alcohol related harm (website).