Wine, Health & Social Aspects

To mobilize the positive contribution of the Wine sector in reducing the harmful use of alcohol, supporting the legitimate place of moderate and responsible consumption of wine as compatible with a healthy lifestyle in our societies

CEEV Objectives

  • To mobilize the positive contribution of the Wine sector to reducing harmful use of alcohol by promoting the WIM programme implementation by the members at national level;
  • Ensuring proactive involvement and input to the EAHF, contributing to a successful outcome of the EAHF and the EU Strategy, promoting delivery, visibility and recognition of the EU wine sector commitment to the EAHF, showing the positive role played by a responsible EU wine sector;
  • Supporting sensible proportionate and effective policies contributing to reduce harmful use of alcohol, without unjustified disproportionate statutory restrictions for the wine production and business at international, EU and national levels;
  • Ensuring the recognition of the legitimate place of moderate / responsible consumption of wine, as compatible with a healthy lifestyle, in our societies.

Policy developments

At EU level, an independent evaluation of the EU Strategy and its tools, including the EAHF, was completed in 2012, and the outcome was considered globally positive; it has provided an EU-wide approach to address common issues, a shared evidence base, a mobilisation and action by stakeholders across common objectives, and support for Member State actions. The independent evaluators made a number of suggestions to improve its effectiveness, namely: expand the EAHF membership; focus EAHF action areas more closely on the priorities of the EU Alcohol Strategy ; and support members in strengthening their commitments to action (promote good practice for design, monitoring and evaluation of the commitments).

The current EU Strategy should go on for the time being with the same priorities, areas for action and tools, including the EAHF. The harmful use of alcohol might be addressed in the framework of a EU policy and action plan on chronic or non communicable diseases that the European Commission is expected to formulate as from 2013. In December 2012, the EPSCO Council adopted Conclusions on Healthy Ageing welcoming i.a. “the EU strategies on health determinants and common risk factors including a new EU strategy to support Member States to reduce alcohol related harm”.

At international level, the European region office of the WHO adopted in 2012 a European Alcohol Action Plan (EAAP) 2012-2020.

WHO is currently developing a Global Action Plan for the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) for the period 2013-2020 to update the current Action Plan expiring at the end of 2013, accompanied by a comprehensive global monitoring framework, including indicators, and a set of voluntary global targets for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

Policy background

The EU Treaty introduced a specific article on public health into the EU Treaty - now renumbered Article 168 - entitling the Community to adopt measures aimed at ensuring a high level of human health protection including measures which direct objective is to protect the public health from i.a. the “abuse of alcohol”. Since most legislative power in this field remains in the hands of the Member States, the Community's role is subsidiary and mainly involves supporting the efforts of the Member States and helping them formulate and implement coordinated objectives and strategies.

In the framework of the EU Public Health policy, the European Commission adopted for the first time in October 2006 a specific EU Strategy to Support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm. This Strategy aims at mapping good practices and areas of socio-economic importance and Community relevance where further progress could be made, and explains how the Commission can further support and complement national public health policies implemented by Member States in cooperation with stakeholders, taking into account that drinking patterns and cultures vary across the EU.

EU Alcohol & Health Strategy  – 5 Priority Themes

  • Protect young people, children and unborn children;
  • Reduce injuries and death caused by alcohol-related road accidents;
  • Prevent alcohol-related harm among adults and reduce the negative impact on the workplace;
  • Inform, educate and raise awareness on the impact of harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption, and on appropriate consumption patterns;
  • Develop and maintain a common evidence base at EU level.


As one cornerstone for the implementation of this Strategy, a European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF Chart) was created in 2007 to provide a common platform for all interested stakeholders at EU level that pledged to step up actions relevant to reducing alcohol-related harm, especially in the following areas:

  • Strategies aimed at curbing under-age drinking;
  • Information and education programs on the effect of harmful drinking and on 
responsible patterns of consumption;
  • Possible development of efficient common approaches throughout the Community to provide adequate consumer information;
  • Actions to better enforce age limits for selling and serving alcohol;
  • Interventions promoting effective behavioral change among children and adolescents;
  • Cooperation to promote responsibility in and prevent irresponsible commercial communication and sales.


CEEV is a founding member of the European Alcohol and Health Forum, and leading partner of the EU Wine sector commitment to the EHAF, the Wine In Moderation, Art de Vivre program (WIM program).

In parallel at international level, the World Health Organisation (WHO) adopted in May 2010 the WHO’s Global Strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol. It focuses on ten key areas of policy options and interventions that are proposed to the Member States as a menu of options for their implementation, taking into account their specific contexts and priorities:

  • Leadership, awareness and commitment;
  • Health services' response;
  • Community action;
  • Drink-driving policies and countermeasures;
  • Availability of alcohol;
  • Marketing of alcoholic beverages;
  • Pricing policies;
  • Reducing the negative consequences of drinking and alcohol intoxication;
  • Reducing the public health impact of illicit alcohol and informally produced alcohol;
  • Monitoring and surveillance.


Economic operators in alcohol production and trade are recognized as important players in their role as developers, distributors, marketers and sellers of alcoholic beverages. They are especially encouraged to consider effective ways to prevent and reduce harmful use of alcohol within their core roles mentioned above, including self-regulatory actions and initiatives. They could also contribute by making available data on sales and consumption of alcohol beverages.

The implementation of this Global Strategy will require active collaboration with the Member States, with appropriate engagement of international development partners, civil society, the private sector, as well as public health and research institutions. The progress of the strategy implementation should be assessed at the World Health Assembly in 2013.