The European Commission's long-awaited alcohol policy paper will advocate an alcohol and health forum, charged with "monitoring" increased binge drinking by young people.

The paper, to be published on October 24, will urge the EU to focus on rising alcohol consumption among females, according to Commission officials.

The proposed forum would address issues including the selling, serving, marketing and image of alcohol. Andrew McNeill, honorary secretary of Eurocare, which campaigns against alcohol abuse, said he hoped this would lead to national governments being allowed to pursue their own anti-alcohol campaigns.

National campaigns had been held back so far because of concerns about legal action from Brussels over impeding intra-EU trade.

McNeill wants the Commission to declare that alcohol was a "special case" and to state that it was "okay for the member states to protect public health."