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European Union health ministers have agreed the development of a new policy for reducing alcohol-related harm.

Health ministers from European Union member states met in Riga earlier this week

Health ministers from European Union member states met in Riga earlier this week

At a meeting in Latvia this week, the ministers agreed that the EU should play a role in the harmonisation of national alcohol policies across the region. The creation of general alcohol standards for the international market will also take place.

The ministers met in an informal basis in Riga, the capital city of the current EU president, on Monday and Tuesday.

A communiqué from the Latvian government said health ministers confirmed "that the five EU Alcohol Strategy priorities — pricing and tax measures, marketing and restrictions on the availability of alcoholic beverages, legal measures to reduce drink driving, and the raising of public awareness" were "very important".

Subsequently, formal legislative proposals underpinning these conclusions will be developed and proposed by the European Commission.

Earlier this month, an EU parliamentary committee called on the European Commission to propose legislation making it compulsory for all EU-sold alcoholic product containers to carry printed or labelled calorie information.


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