Eurocare is unique in its role as the leading independent NGO working on alcohol policies in Europe.
Eurocare`s vision is a Europe where alcohol related harm is no longer one of the leading risk factors for ill-health, early death, violence and disability, where innocent third parties no longer suffer from the drinking of others and where the EU and its Member States acknowledge the harm done by alcohol and implement effective and comprehensive policies to tackle it.
The mission of Eurocare is to raise awareness among decision makers of the harms caused by alcohol and to ensure that these are taken into consideration in all relevant EU policy discussions, as well as to promote the development and implementation of evidence based policies and at effectively preventing and reducing the burden brought in by alcohol.
To achieve its mission Eurocare seeks to; influence policy makers, establish collaboration with other organizations sharing our concerns, advocate effective and evidence based alcohol policies, monitor relevant policy developments, monitor marketing practices of the alcohol industry, disseminate information and knowledge through reports, position papers,web site and newsletter.
Our message in regards to alcohol consumption is that "less is better".
The general objective of Eurocare and its members is to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm in Europe by influencing the European Institutions and Member States so that they acknowledge and challenge the problem.
Eurocare aims for a Europe where:
-the total alcohol consumption is down by 20% from 2020
-there is more awareness and a better understanding of the risks / problems linked to alcohol consumption among the general public
-children and young people are less affected by the harm caused by alcohol
-the minimum age for purchasing alcoholic beverages is 18
-there is no marketing of alcoholic beverages targeting young people
-blood alcohol level (BAL) for driving is 0,2 and it is properly enforced
-accurate information about the product is provided on alcohol labels
To achieve these objectives Eurocare conducts amongst others the following activities:
- provides a forum for European organizations with responsibilities in the field of alcohol with the aim of establishing a closer cooperation and collaboration between them;
- monitors all relevant policy developments that have an impact on alcohol policies;
- engages in dialogue with decision makers to ensure that the harms caused by alcohol (social, health and economic burden) are taken into consideration in all relevant policy discussions and advocates the development and implementation of effective and evidence-based policies to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm. To that end Eurocare carries out advocacy campaigns, responds to EU consultations, publishes position papers etc. Eurocare participates in the EU Health Policy Forum and is a founding member of the EU Alcohol and Health Forum;
- facilitates the collection, analysis, dissemination and the use of data relating to alcohol consumption in Europe and the resulting damages through its participation in European projects, organisation of events, website, e-newsletter etc;
- regularly provides information to its Members through the organisation of meetings and events media outreach and publications;
- seeks collaboration with non- governmental organisations sharing Eurocare`s concerns;
- represents European NGOs in the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance.
Eurocare`s membership is the foundation of its existence, credibility and legitimacy. Maintenance, development, service and support to members are main-streamed into all activities. In order to perform its essential functions it is necessary for Eurocare to be adequately balanced and representative of the different strands of alcohol work and Member States. One of the main objectives is to build capacity to enable members to engage in decision making processes and increase the advocacy of evidence based policy at all levels, to actively foster cooperation and exchange of knowledge among members (and other NGOs). Eurocare will organise at least 1 capacity building event.
Eurocare organizes a number of events to exchange knowledge and promote its views to the decision makers at EU and national and regional level. In the light of the evaluation of the current alcohol strategy, Eurocare will be working with its members to encourage a development of a future EU strategy. An event is being planed engaging a number of NGOs across Europe. Another event will take place in Brussels for the NGO community together with civil society from the US in June focussing on young people. Furthermore, Eurocare will be involved in the planning of the 5 European Alcohol Policy conference in Stockholm in October 2012.
Dissemination of information is one of Eurocare`s core activities, a dissemination plan will be produced in the beginning og the year. The secretariat will provide timely, accurate and useful information that supports the work of the members and facilitates the sharing of good practice. The main information tools are the website and the newsletter (see www.eurocare.org). The newsletter is bimonthly and includes information on EU policies/activities, updates from MS, the Secretariat and members etc. Policy briefings and reports are produced according to the current activities or at the request of the Board or the members (who are always consulted). During 2011 a database will be set up on the web site that includes good practice and literature. This database is developed in order to keep track of all the projects and examples that have been gathered over the years on alcohol projects. This database needs to be further updated and improved in 2012.
The knowledge gathered through the 4th European Alcohol policy conference will be continued to be fed into the relevant policy making processes, especially the forthcoming EU Alcohol Strategy which will be one of the main focus areas for Eurocare in 2012. In collaboration with its members and other alcohol experts Eurocare will seek to provide input into the evaluation process of the current EU Alcohol Strategy and input into the future debate.
Eurocare seeks to influence key decision makers within both the MS and the EU Institutions. Special focus needs to be on health in all policies, reminding policy makers of the harm done by alcohol and the need to put the health of citizens before the economic interests of a few. There are several issues that need continued attention; food information - labelling of alcoholic beverages (ingredient listing and kcal), health and safety warning labels on alcoholic beverages (no alcohol during pregnancy, no drink and drive,can be addictive, liver cirrhosis etc), volume of alcohol advertising and marketing, enforcement of age limits, availability and affordability, enforcement of BAL for drivers, taxation and price, improving health systems, obtaining good data from both MS/industry, supporting the implementation of the global strategy (with special emphasis on data related to alcohol consumption and health inequality. The majority of these activities will be taken by the Secretariat and the staff needs to be strengthened in order to follow this up.
Continued support from the secretariat is needed to engage and coordinate members` input into the activities of the EU Alcohol and Health Forum and the EU Health Policy Forum.
Eurocare is a member of the European Public Health and Agriculture Consortium, with the aim of addressing the issue of utilization of CAP funds to promote alcohol (wine).
Eurocare is a collaborating partner with the European Partnership Action Against Cancer with the aim of raising awareness and action on the political agenda in relation to links between alcohol and cancer.
Eurocare will continue to work to ensure that alcohol receives the attention it deserves in the current debate on actions to tackle non communicable diseases.