Eurocare-Dokument

Brief an die Mitglieder des Europäischen Parlaments (EU)

(Der Brief sollte in die eigene Sprache übersetzt und den nationalen Europaparlamentariern zugestellt werden)

Re: Sales Promotions in the Internal Market

[Paragraph describing company – activity, location, etc, like this one]: Please let me introduce myself: my name is Florence Berteletti Kemp, Communication Officer for Eurocare, an alliance of voluntary and non-governmental organisation headquartered in Brussels. As I am enclosing a description of our association as well as a members' list, I will go directly to the object of this message. Indeed, knowing that our membership consists of 46 members from 12 European countries, 5 non EU states and 3 International organisations with members in 26 countries, that we represent 80% of all the research, advocacy and the provision of information to the public on alcohol related harm in Europe should be enough to convince you that we are truly representative of our sector.]

I am writing to bring to your attention the above report which is scheduled for debate by the full Parliament at the September I plenary session in Strasbourg which will take place on the 2nd of September.

As you know, The EC proposed a number of measures designed to create a Sales Promotions Internal Market by removing barriers, whilst at the same time harmonising consumer protection to facilitate the free movement of goods, so as to benefit, debatably, consumers and small businesses.

However, since its introduction in the co-decision procedure, the Communication on Sales Promotion in the Internal Market has stirred up considerable debate one of which being is its lack of recognition for the principle of protection for public health. On July 2nd, the Legal Affairs Committee took a vote on the 136 page amended version of the regulation, even though many amendments were not discussed. Eurocare notes and welcomes the fact that tobacco products and brands were exempted from the Communication and that the amendment proposing to allow Member States to decide whether to ban discounts on fixed-price products and on 'sales below cost' (i.e. below the retailer's actual costs) was passed. Indeed, this will allow countries that have a ban on “drinking happy hours” to keep them intact.

Eurocare is concerned that none of the amendments exempting alcoholic beverages were discussed. In accordance with Article 152 of the Treaty of Amsterdam which stipulates that a high level of human health protection must be assured in the definition and implementation of all Community policies and activities, it is legitimate to envisage an exemption for the products of alcoholic beverages and their brands insofar as no other produce sold legally in the European Union creates more harm to young people.

MEPS should be reminded that one in every four deaths among young males (15 - 29 years) in Europe is attributable to alcohol - 57 000 deaths every year. Also, 7 million children in the EU suffer from at least one parent with a drinking problem. Such harm should make MEPs think very carefully before treating alcohol like any other commodity! If the regulation went through as it is, it would be perfectly possible for a promoter of alcoholic beverages to sell to a teenager 3 bottles of alcohol mixed drinks for the price of 2!

Despite the claim in a press release issued by the EP that some amendments now go further than the Commission in safeguarding children's health and protecting minors from the sale or promotion of alcohol, Eurocare firmly believes that the amendments do not go far enough. There is a real fear that the proposals, if effected in their present form, will undermine individual Member States strategies to deal with the current problematic situation and prevent the implementation of the recommendations of the Council of Ministers[2] and the WHO.

We at [Eurocare and your own organisation] therefore urge you to vote in favour of Mr Miller’s amendment. I look forward to receiving your response and confirmation of support.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[Florence Berteletti Kemp]

[Eurocare Communication Office]



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