Welcome to the 9th European Alcohol Policy Conference
Alcohol is a psychoactive substance with intoxicating and dependence-producing properties and dangerous health risks such as cancer and mental disorders, to name just a few. In Europe, the situation is bleak with the highest levels of alcohol consumption in the world, killing the equivalent of a large concert hall every day. The dramatic impact of alcohol harm starts early in the life course, responsible for 1 in every 4th death in the age group of 20–24-year-olds.
The aim of the conference is to address the main factors that prevent policymakers from introducing effective and adequate alcohol policies.
The 9th European Alcohol Policy Conference builds on the series of very successful European Alcohol Policy Conferences (Warsaw 2004, Helsinki 2006, Barcelona 2008, Brussels 2010, Stockholm 2012, Brussels 2014, Ljubljana 2016 and Edinburgh 2018).
This edition of the 9th European Alcohol Policy Conference comes at a particularly critical time for alcohol policy, including some promising policy initiatives:
- The action plan (2022 – 2030) to effectively implement the Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol should have been adopted at the WHA in May 2022.
- The WHO Euro launched the SAFER initiative early in 2021, committing to building a European Region free from alcohol related harm.
A new version of the WHO Europe Framework for Alcohol should be published in 2022; The document creates an overarching frame for existing international instruments and documents.
An opportunity to address alcohol related harms has presented itself with the European Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. Indeed, this EU initiative includes plan to introduce mandatory labelling of alcoholic beverages by 2022 and inclusion of health warnings by 2023 as well as plans for capacity building activities in the areas of EU legislation relating to the taxation of alcohol. It also provides for support to Member States in the implementation of evidence-based brief interventions on alcohol in primary health care, workplace and social services.
In 2019, NORAD – Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation launched Better health Better Lives, a dedicated international development strategy to combat NCDS in LMICs. With a budget of $133 million (1.2 billion NOK) from 2020 to 2024, the strategy includes prevention that targets leading NCD risk factors including alcohol consumption.
A new format
This conference will be a space in which speakers and participants with diverse experiences (researchers, policy makers, civil society organisations and academia) will be able to network, debate, question and place critical issues related to alcohol related harm polices and progress. By bringing together innovators, policymakers, academics, people with lived experience, storytellers and health advocates the conference will explore:
- What are the major barriers to policy progress?
- Is raising awareness a precondition for the adoption of SAFER initiatives?
- Is the evidence at our disposal strong enough? If not, what should be the research agenda?
- How can different stakeholders contribute to make positive policy change?
- What is the role of the Research community in preventing and managing alcohol related harm at the national and global level?
- How to make allies beyond the alcohol control communities to start turning the tide?
For all Plenary Sessions, no slides will be allowed; enough death by presentation! the conference will be a discussion and an experience-sharing event with great emphasis on audience participation. The moderator will first ask specific guided questions to the panellists and there will be enough time for the public to make comments and ask questions, leaving participants eager for more ideas, conversations and exchanges.