EUCAM - European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing

EC asks Dutch authorities to provide information on effectiveness self-regulation

19 February 2008

EC asks Dutch authorities to provide information on effectiveness self-regulation The European Commission asked the Dutch authorities to submit observations on the effectiveness of Dutch self-regulatory regulations on Alcohol Marketing. This is concluded after questions asked by the MEP Dorette Corbey.

The Netherlands is the only country in the European Union in which there are no laws on alcohol marketing. All available regulations are voluntary regulations established by the alcohol industry.

Corbey is worried about the effectiveness of this self-regulatory code in the Netherlands. She reports that many complaints have been made about associations between drinking alcohol and social and/or sexual success. These complaints were, however, often rejected by the Alcohol Advertising Committee and it was said that the advertisements were in line with the Advertising Code. Corbey asked the Commission how they ensure proper compliance. In addition, she asked the Commission about the problem of alcopops and whether the Commission will make legislation on health warnings on alcoholic drinks to protect young people from the harmful effects of alcohol consumption.

The Commission answered that they will ask the Dutch authorities to submit their observations on the effectiveness of the Dutch self-regulatory system on alcohol marketing. The Commission will then consider whether there are grounds for instituting infringement proceedings against the Netherlands.

The Commission argues that labelling and/or increased taxes on alcopops seem to have reduced alcopops consumption, but possible substitution behaviour should be carefully examined. However, development of harmonised legislation in the field of the prevention of alcohol-related harm is not an objective of the Commission. It will only explore possible approaches to provide adequate consumer information. Legislation is the responsibility of the Member States.

See the Parliamentary questions for more information.

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